Vastaranta wins Finnish Cyclist of the Year honor

Mountain bike national champion honored

Jukka Vastaranta has won the honor of 2010 Finnish Cyclist of the Year. Each year, the winner is chosen by readers of the only Finnish cycling magazine, Fillari.

Vastaranta collected 40.8 per cent of all the votes, three times more than Jussi Veikkanen, a French racer for Francais des Jeux. Third place went to ex-road pro Kimmo Kananen, who is currently racing in Finland.

"I have gotten some bigger results than I did this year, but it was my first time becoming the Finnish Cyclist of the Year," said Vastaranta. "I think that the reason that gave me the most of the votes was that my season was quite colourful."

"I started on the road. It didn't go well, and in June I changed to mountain biking and won many races and was fourth in European Championship marathon," he said. "I won the Finnish cross country and marathon championships and signed with Trek-Brentjens Mountain Bike Racing Team powered by Milka, which made me the only Finnish male pro mountain biker."

"I have a lot of appreciation for this title of Cyclist of the Year. I think it is even better than being Finnish Champion. To become Finnish Champion, you just have to ride hard, but to be Finnish Cyclist of the Year, you have to be a world class rider."

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