This gang of seven is one of the four Finnish Pro Teams in Ski Classics. There is a lot of experience on this team, and they will fight tooth and nail for the title of the best Finnish Pro Team this season.
Kari Varis is the leader of Team Kaskipuu, and he is one of the greatest long-distance skiers in Finland. He has won the biggest long-distance ski race in Finland so many times that he goes by the name of Mr. Finlandia-hiihto. He has also succeeded in many Worldloppet skating races taking several podium places. Additionally, he has taken many medals at the Finnish National Championships, and his latest one is the silver medal in the 50 km skating race right after Iivo Niskanen in 2021. Despite his great success, Kari has not actively been racing in Ski Classics, and most likely will not do so this season either. He might take part in some races, but he will leave the stage for his teammates.
Juuso Mäkelä and Veli-Matti Räsänen are the top skiers on the team, and they both are eager to raise the bar this winter. Juuso finished three Pro Tour races last season, and his best day happened at Marcialonga where he finished 33rd. Veli-Matti was a bit more active in Ski Classics than Juuso as he finished five races and managed to be among the top 38 skiers in three of them.
Matti Kaski and Tuomas Mikkonen represent the business side of things on the team, but they are skilled skiers as well. Matti was close to the top-100 club in the Pro Tour races he finished last winter while Tuomas was not far behind.
The two female skiers on Team Kaskipuu are close to the national top, and they managed to be in the top 10 at the Nationals. Oona Kettunen finished 10th in the 30 km classic race at the Finnish National Championships while Amanda Saari, a young upcoming star, was a little higher up in the result list by being 8th. Oona also showed that she has the needed capacity for long distances by winning Finlandia-hiihto, 62 km.
This team has great potential, but its female skiers may not be fully committed to racing in Ski Classics, which will hurt the team’s chances for valuable points. The two best male skiers need to up the ante and get into the top 30 on a regular basis if the team wants to take serious steps towards the ranking top.