It was an extremely physi- cally demanding first day at the third round of the En- duro Championship in Jämsä (Finland). In perfect weather conditions, the over 50 kms long circular course presen- ted many rocks, roots and driveways. The day foresaw three courses over 50 kms each in the forests of Jämsä with three special stages each.
More than half of all riders did not arrive at the finish-line, and gave up from exhaustion or timeout.
In such difficult conditions the race today was clearly dominated by the Finnish riders with guest starters Roni Nikander (KTM) and Marko Tarkkala (Beta). Only in third place in the overall standings, the British KTM-rider Tom Sagar, who was able to prevail against two other Finns behind him. This result gave the British the leadership in the European Championship, as the reigning champion, Maurizio Micheluz, finished only in the 18th place overall, third in the E1 class. Micheluz is still suffering from the consequences of his injury: “I dislocated my arm one month ago and could not train ever since. In the special, I would have continued to attack, but had no strength,” said the Italian.
So Sagar took over the lead in the overall standings and with the simultaneous class victory he gained the in the E2 class, too.
In the E3 class the victory went to the overall winner Nikander again before Tarkkala and the German Mark Risse.
In the Veteran class, eight-times European Champion Werner Müller seemed to be once again unstoppable: while the KTM riders struggled with the track and the lack strength at the end Müller not only set the fastest special stage times, but he had only three penalty minutes in the stage, while his biggest competitor Zdenek Gottvald was 13 minutes late and the Finnish competitor Juha Puotsaari arrived 16 minutes later. But these three riders were three vete- rans, who crossed the finish line at the end.
In the Womens-class only Finnish rider Sanna Karkkainen on her KTM reached the goal of sco- ring points, which puts her title within reach.
The Italian Junior Mirko Spandere gained again the victory in the class of 125cc riders under 20 years and was also from the lokal Finn Antti Hänninen and Sweden Pontus Skog.
In the Junior of the E1 class the Italian Nicolas Pellegrinelli won before the local hero Henry Olenius from Finland and Frenchman David Abgrall.
With today’s wins of Henrik Stigell and Mika Tamminen, the Junior E2 / E3 class was firmly in Finnish hands. Third place for the French Mika Barnes.