Legendary tough Finnish race, the Lake Paijanne Enduro, last weekend saw a maiden victory for serial runner-up Antii Hanninen in the wettest of conditions and former world champion Samuli Aro making a comeback.

Held for the first time in 1927, the Lake Päijänne Enduro is the oldest Finnish motorcycle race, was part of the EnduroGP series in 2017 and 2018, is one of the country’s oldest sporting events and is definitely one of our sport’s toughest tests.

This year race was held in extreme conditions with a race start on Saturday morning at 8am and not finishing for some until 9pm. The special tests were really wet, because of rains before the weekend, plus it also started to rain in the afternoon and continued for the rest of the day and evening, so when we say it was wet, we mean it was really wet.

Saturday saw riders face 15 special tests and 11 on Sunday and with riders finishing in the dark on Saturday, they also faced 30 ccentimetres of fresh show. Followed by more rain and wet snow on Sunday.


Gearbox problems opens the door for Hanninen

Three-time Paitsi race winner Eemil Pohjola started strongly on day one, holding the lead until test 8 when his gearbox broke he was forced to retire.

After that it was a battle between Antti Hänninen and 2022 winner, Peetu Juupaluoma. Hänninen has been runner-up in the race three times in a row, but this year was his. A lead of 33 seconds after Saturday and increased on Sunday morning for a victory, in the end the of 38 seconds. With a total special test time of nearly five hours, it was pretty close race.

Juupaluoma claimed that second spot on the podium and was comfortably ahead of young Albert Juhola over seven minutes behind in third. Fourth was Eetu Puhakainen and fifth Jussi Arvaja.

Enduro legend Samuli Aro took part of the Paitsi 24, his first enduro race since 2011. Lack of riding and the toughness of the race paid a toll as Aro had to quit the race in Saturday afternoon, because of huge cramps in his legs. Not deterred, the former champion started the race again on Sunday (you can start the race again, but for no result) and got to the finish he was after.

Paisti 24 Top 10 Results:

  1. Antti Hänninen 4:49:28
  2. Peetu Juupaluoma +00:38
  3. Albert Juhola +07:09
  4. Eetu Puhakainen +12:38
  5. Jussi Arvaja +15:33
  6. Niko Puotsaari +17:17
  7. Dick Bergman +18:43
  8. Tiitus Enjala +20:20
  9. Niklas Laankoski +20:57
  10. Roni Heikkala +22:48

Wet? How wet?



Words and Photo Credit: Jani Hovi | XRacing.fi