Mirko Lahti, 20, jumped ahead of his rivals in frigid Finland and won the second Junior Championship race on Friday on a 630-meter long natural rough ice track that finished in the ski resort of Jyväskylä-Laajis. Jesse Sauren took second place in the Ice Cross Downhill race on a freezing evening in one of the fastest-growing cities in Finland. Joni Saarinen, who won the inaugural race in Marseille last week, came in third and Dimitry Murlichkin of Russia took fourth place.
Mirko Lahti, who used to play hockey and ride motocross, hurt himself in training in Marseille and was not able to participate and missed the final race in the old harbor. But this time, the young Finn got a winning streak into the final and never looked back while the other three finalists battled all the way down the natural rough ice track with its steep jumps and treacherous bumps.
"The track felt pretty good even though the ice was rough," said Lahti, a student from Mäntsälä, a small city next to Helsinki. "I hope I can get better to get more chill runs."
The idea behind the Junior Championship is to give aspiring young Ice Cross Downhill athletes a chance to compete, develop and gain valuable experience on the major tracks while attracting new athletes to the sport.
The competition continues on Saturday with the second of four Red Bull Crashed Ice races this season.
1. Mirko Lahti (FIN) 2. Jesse Sauren (FIN) 3. Joni Saarinen (FIN) 4. Dimitry Murlichkin (RUS) 5. Leo Dutruel (FRA)
6. Eric Miauton (SUI) 7. Vaclav Kosnar (CZE) 8. Petar Sevo (NED)