Last weekend was a busy cycling weekend with the Finnish Championships Criterium in Lahti and the OP-GP and Porvoon ajot in Porvoo. The “Porvoon ajot” competition is not like any other competition in Finland. It has a great tradition and was organised for the 81st time this year. The new route was great. 7 large rounds of 21 km and 10 small city rounds which totals over 182 km and a lot of short and steep climbs. Even some cobbled stones.
The organisation was splendid and the field of riders included all the toppers. One of them was Kjell Carlström from the Liquigas Protour team who just became a father last week and was riding strongly in the Giro d’Italia. He continued his good performances with taking the win. After coming second last year behind Marek Salermo, I’m sure he was not willing to let this happen again before his home crowd.
For me the competition went well but the start was to slow so I tried to escape a few times. In fact the start was so slow that I was getting a bit called and in rusult I had to pee after one round. I was not the only one some riders stopped and had their team riders pulling them back to the bunch. Some peed while on the bike. The down hills were so short and the side wind so strong, so you can imagine how that went?One of my team mates had to experience it from closeby when an Estonian rider peed on him. Great for the moral.
After everybody was done, except me ( holding it for 183 km), the speed was going up and the chase started. I enjoyed the ride in the back of the bunch and waited for the toppers to come out. After about 145k the first attacks happend and I was able to follow quite easily. We were caught back just before the 10 local rounds of about 3km started. At this moment all hell brakes loose and one attack happens after another on the steep hills ( like the “bergs” in Flanders). Immediatly the pack shattered and a small group chased the leaders but wasn’t able to catch. In the end I was 14th arriving in a group of about 8 riders. In the end I’m quite happy with the result because finally I feel the better form coming.
Also my team mates went quite well during the race but they were taken out of the race just before they could finish. That’s the disadvantage of small local rounds in the end of a long race.