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Urheilijat

Urheilijat

AP Laiho

MOUNTAIN BIKING

How long have you been competing?
I started racing in 1990 – when both me and mountain biking were still young.

Where do you call home?
I live in Lahti, Finland.

Favorite event or place to practice?
Hard to say. The national enduro series has a special atmosphere but I am inclined to say that my favorite event is Mavic Trans-Provence: the riding there is so varied and amazing, racing blind adds an element of surprise and camping out for a week makes the participants a tight bunch.

What do you like best about your sport? 
The variety and never ending places to discover. There are so many ways to ride a bike; everything from fast and flowy enduro stages to long group rides with friends on the road and riding with the family on some trails and bike paths.

What is the strangest thing that has happened to you while doing your sport?
Well, there would be quite many stories to tell… I must say a few of the memorable ones are capturing bear to make racing safer in Canada and waiting for the officials to clear the race course after a horse had died on it in Austria.

Do you have a claim to fame (fittest, fastest, funniest, smelliest, etc.)? 
You should ask my riding friends!

Do you promote an annual event or are you involved in a charitable cause?
I have organized more skiing related events than cycling events. The biggest annual thing is a freeski festival we put together with my friend yearly in the beginning of the season. During the three days of parties, movies, expo and keynote speeches the festival attracts some two thousand skiers together. That’s a big part of the Finnish freeskiing community.

Any notable recent results?
The results are not the most important thing in racing for me. They were important, when I was younger, but not so much anymore. If I have a great day on the bike, seeing the results in the end of it won’t change the feelings I had during the day. If I was enjoying the day, I have reached my goal – and good result is a nice bonus.
(Editor’s note: Antti is a multiple national champion in downhill, top-10 finisher in downhill world cup and most recently he has won the Trans-Provence in the masters category.)

Anything else we should know about you or your sport?
During the years I have frequently questioned if mountain biking is the right sport for someone living in Finland. Our cycling culture is young, geography is flat and there is snow on the ground for almost half a year. But in the end things aren’t so bad. We have some amazing single tracks, no access issues, can ride straight out of the door and for road cycling the small, winding country roads are safe. And the long winter months certainly make sure we are motivated when the snow starts to melt and days get longer in the spring!