Pihlaja and Cottew triumphed and clinched the 2023 Snowcross World Titles
By Infront Moto Racing | 30 Apr 2023

Kirkenes (Norway) 30 April 2023 – The 2023 FIM SnowCross World Championship, the FIM Women’s SnowCross World Cup and the European Snowcross Championship have ended today and they displayed an amazing show for all the large crowd present.

The perfect conditions were reunited to offer an amazing and special show today with number of spectators coming to enjoy this amazing sport. The day started with a remarkable Opening Ceremony which included a song performed by Famous Norwegian singer Kevin Boine. It was followed by the spectacular freestyle snowcross show with Rasmus Johanson putting on an incredible demonstration.
Then Infront Moto Racing representative Patricia Maskarova and the FIM representative Sabin Olariu welcomed everyone and thanked Norway and Kirkenes to allow to host the event.
The Norwegian Minister of Transport, Jon Ivar Nygard also came to support the local club and cheer for all the athletes competing in Kirkenes.

It was then time to kickstart the competition and begin the amazing snowcross show.

The Race 1 in SNX started with Topi Posti taking the Holeshot but quickly got overtaken by Aki Pihlaja after a couple of turns and also by Elias Ishoel.
Very soon after that, Ishoel managed to overtake Pihlaja as he got inside and pushed him wide to take the lead. Pihlaja was not giving up as he instantly tried to make a move but Ishoel stayed solid and stayed in front.
Ishoel was pushed by Pihlaja until the end but stayed strong to win Race 1 in front of Pihlaja 2nd.

In Race 2, Ishoel didn’t lose any time as he took the Holeshot and led the race in front of Pihlaja and Gustav Sahlsten. While Ishoel was constantly threatened by Pihlaja, it looked like he could contain and defend his position until the checkered flag however it was not meant to be for home hero Ishoel. With 4 laps to go, Ishoel made a surprising mistake when he tried to control his jump but fell down from the sledge to leave Pihlaja take the lead. The opportunity was too good and Pihlaja went on to keep the lead until the end to win his first SNX World Championship with a near perfect 2-1. Ishoel was not able to win in front of the home fans but clinched a solid silver medal. Sahlsten also had a strong racing weekend and got a good 3rdstep of the podium.
The Defending SNX World Champion Peter Nasra had to settle for 7th overall in the end.

In the end, Aki Pihlaja’s determination got him an amazing 2-1 as the Finnish won the 2023 FIM SnowCross World Championship ahead of another great rider Elias Ishoel who came close to win too but had to for 2nd place with very strong 1-2. Closing the podium was the Swedish rider Gustav Sahlsten who showed great technique throughout the day to get 4-3.

Aki Pihlaja: “I’m very happy because I already have 4 silver medals at home, but I feally was missing the gold one. Today Elias showed great speed and was faster, but this kind of track fits me better and I capitalised on his mistake in race 2 and use it for my advantage."

FIM Snowcross World Championship Overall Classification Top 3:
1. Aki Pihlaja (47 points)
2. Elias Ishoel (47points)
3. Gustav Sahlsten (38 points)

In the WSNX Race 1, it was Malene Cottew who clinched the Holeshot with Thea Arnesson right behind her. However, Cottew started to take an edge on everyone as she detached herself after lap 2 to stay far ahead until the checkered flag and win the first heat by 35 seconds on Arnesson 2nd and Hilda Öhman 3rd.
In Race 2, the dominance of Cottew could be seen again as the talented rider took the lead early on lap 1 from and never got worried by Öhman, the solid second. Behind them two, it was Wilma Jonsson despite an average start went back up from 5th to 3rd over the first couple of laps to keep the 3rd place. It was unfortunately not enough to get on the podium as Arnesson finished 4th with a 2-4 to get 3rd overall.

With a perfect 1-1 and a spectacular performance, Malene Cottew won her first SNX World Cup on home soil in an emotional day for the Norwegian. With a 3-2, Swedish Hilda Öhman got deserve 2nd overall while her fellow Swede’s Thea Arnesson managed to step up on the third spot of the podium.

Malene Cottew: “I wanted to win since I was child and I finally made it today. This is even more special to do it at home, in Norway in front of everyone who were cheering for me the whole weekend!”

FIM Women’s Snowcross World Cup Overall Classification Top 3:
1. Malene Cottew (50 points)
2. Hilda Öhman (42 points)
3. Thea Arnesson (40 points)

In the European Snowcross Championship we saw Gustav Salomonsson confidently win with a perfect 1-1 in front of Emil Mikalsen 2nd and Jan Even Romsdal in 3rd. 

FIM European Snowcross Championship Overall Classification Top 3:
1. Gustav Salomonsson (50 points)
2. Emil Mikalsen (44 points)
3. Jan Even Romsdal (36 points)

Click HERE for the Races Results

Quick Facts:
Track Length: 650m
Weather Conditions: Partly cloudy
Temperature: 0°


Infront Moto Racing
FIM Europe


Read the next news: The 2023 FIM Snowcross World Championship arrives in Kirkenes, Norway! (28 Apr 2023)

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