The partly heavy rain had made the track and special stages at the finale of the European Enduro Championship in Heinola, Finland, particularly difficult and demanding. On the slippery stones and smooth roots the motorcycles had to set the best times.
At first, 19-year-old Roni Kytönen was able to use his home advantage and took the lead – but always the Englishman Jed Etchells was at the back. After the first lap, he found the right suspension setting on his new Sherco and pushed the Finn in front of him. At the end of the second lap he was able to take the lead with less than a second. But already in the next special stage Kytönen took the lead back again. But then Etchells drove 13 seconds faster than all other riders in the next test and laid the foundation for his first overall victory of the day. “In the rain and mud and right through the woods, I trained a lot in the winter, conditions like these suit me,” the 18-year-old junior rejoiced afterwards.
In the championship, Kristof Kouble, the leader, had not started due to injury and then Albin Elowson from Sweden, who was on third championship position, dropped out abger a crash in the morning on his way to the first special stage, also dropped out after a crash.
This allowed Kytönen to take the lead in the championship and further extend his lead over the competition.
In the cubic capacity classes, the first champion was already crowned prematurely:
Patrik Markvart from the Czech Republic can already be celebrated as the champion in the 250 cc four-stroke engine class: The KTM rider had already won all the races this year and is therefore already unbeatable in the lead, although there are still two days to go.
In the women’s event, day winner Hanna Berzelius from Sweden may be able to secure her title on the second of the three driving days: competitor Nieve Holmes from England still suffers from her injured shoulder and, in addition, she jumped down the drive chain twice in the special stage, which is why she lost the shot.
Local hero Roni Kytönen was able to clinch both possible titles early, on the second day of the European Enduro Championship finale in Heinola, Finland.
With an overall victory of the day, the Husqvarna rider not only clinched the title in the small cubic capacity class juniors E1, but also the European Champion title in the overall standings of all drivers.
But in the first of the three laps it didn’t look like that yet: In the second special stage, the 19-year-old had crashed and lost about 20 seconds to the competition. He followed this gap and made up for it in five tests. At the beginning of the third lap he was able to take the lead again and then kept his nerve and extended his lead to over 15 seconds.
Jed Etchells, the Briton, was the only one who had a real chance to win the title. He “excused” his second place on the day by saying that it wasn’t as wet and slippery as it have been on the first day.
At the same time some titles in the different classes were decided prematurely.
With another day’s victory the Swedish Hanna Berzelius on her Husqvarna secured the title in the women’s singles with another day’s victory. Her only 17-year-old compatriot Max Ahlin became European Champion in the juniors under 21: the Husqvarna pilot took no risks, was in the class, so far unbeaten only second behind his compatriot Albin Norbbin, but that was enough for the early title.
In the cubic capacity junior class E2-E3, Jed Etchells, beaten by Kytönen, won the day on the Sherco by almost two minutes and at the same time won the early title. He thus follows in the footsteps of his British compatriots Steve Holcombe and Brad Freeman, who were also successful in the European Championship.
Although local hero and guest starter Mika Tamminen beat Jiri Hadek from the Czech Republic today, the KTM rider still won the European Championship title in the two-stroke 250 cc class early.
After Patrik Markvart had already been awarded the title in the small four-stroke class up to 250 ccm on the first day, the title in the large four-stroke class over 250 ccm went to local hero Eemil Pohjola on the second day. He won all the races with his TM.
At the final Motocross on the last day on the former Motocross World Championship track in Heinola, besides the victories in the event classification, the championship titles for the seniors and the small two-strokes up to 250 cc have to be riden out.
On the third and last riding day at the finals of the European Enduro Championship in Heinola, Finland, the national teams’ scores were decided:
The “Heinola MotoKlub” (HeMK) had prepared the final motocross on the former MX World Championship track very well and could therefore be carried out without problems.
The riders went to the start in classes, but their results were also evaluated across the board for the teams.
In the end it was not surprising that host Finland won the Trophy with Roni Kytönen, Antti Hänninen, Mika Tamminen and Eemil Pohjola. Second was the Trophy from Slovakia and third was the team from Sweden.
Finnish rider Pohoja had already secured his individual title as European Champion in the class over 250 ccm four stroke the day before. But the most outstanding rider from the Finnish team was undoubtedly Roni Kytönen: The 19-year-old junior not only won the European Champion title in the junior class E1, but also became champion of all classes in the overall ranking. In addition with the Trophy (see above) and his team from “Kytönen Motorsport” he also won the Trade Team title.
20 years after his father Vesa had become World Champion, his son Roni now had the greatest possible international success in the finals of the European Enduro-Championship.
In the Junior Trophy the team from Sweden won with individual European Champion Max Ahlin, Albin Norrbin, Oscar Ljungström and Noah Largen, ahead of Finland and France.
The Swedes were also at the top of the women’s podium: They won the women’s trophy with European Champion Hanna Berzelius, sisters Martina and Emilia Reimander and Emma Wennbom, ahead of Finland and England.
But the Finns were successful again in the senior category: the senior trophy was won by Janne Mukkala, Santeri Enjala, Mika Paavola and Marco Leponiemi ahead of Sweden.
But because the championship had not been decided prematurely in all classes, attention in the second race of the day was focused on the leader Sebastian Krywolt: The Pole defended not only his lead but also his European championship title in the senior class with a day’s victory.
The Italian Maurizio Micheluz didn’t have such an easy time: the Husqvarna rider started the last day with a lot of points advantage, but in the cross-race of the 250 cc two-stroke class he only finished third. But that was enough for the already 36 years old rider, to also defend the European Championship title in the 250 2-stroke class.