Twenty years old TWD-Länken continues to develop Finnish cyclists
From the beginning on, TWD-Länken’s main goal has been to develop promising Finnish cyclists all the way to the international level. So, it will be also in 2020.
In 2020, the best Finnish amateur team will have four riders from the junior category, four riders from the U23 category and three riders from the elite men’s category. “We have a good structure in place. We have many talents, who could move to foreign teams after this season. We like to send them to the French amateur teams, we have had a very good experience with the French. They have a good racing program and they want to develop their young riders. Besides, in France, the riders are under the eyes of the pro teams,” explained the team’s manager Esko Lummelampi. At the moment there is Oskari Vainionpää (DEVO United-Belgium), Ukko Peltonen (Tartu2024/BalticChainCycling.com- Estonia) and Sauli Pietikäinen (AC Bisontine-France) riding for foreign teams. TWD-Länken’s late hero, Jaakko Hänninen, started also in France, riding for AC Bisontine and EC St Etienne Loire before signing a professional contract with the World Tour team Ag2r LaMondiale.
Twd-Länken’s riders will have two Spanish training camps in Denia, Costa Blanca. The first one in February with the Swedish speaking Finnish federation SFI and the main team camp will be held in March. “In 2019 we had 4 training camps with about 50 days of preparation in Spain, this year we do less. Young guys have school to attend and it’s too much of a stress to be away for such a long time,” explained Esko. “We expect some riders to start the season with the Finnish national team during the Nation’s Cups and with the team we will take part in the Finnish, Swedish and Baltic racing calendar. The exact program is yet to be put in place. We don’t have the exact calendar from the Finnish Cyclist’s Federation yet. The Finnish Cycling Federation lives their own life and the communication between us is weak,”continued Esko.
Traditionally the team is always present in the Swedish UCI second category races.
TWD-Länken was born through the merger of cycling clubs Länken Cykel and CC Tailwind in 2000. The team’s history has known names such as Joona Laukka, Kjell Carlström, Jussi Veikkanen, Kimmo Kananen and now they have again a rider racing at the highest international level, Jaakko Hänninen.