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Marcialonga - plans and reality are often different ...

31.1.2017

After last year's Marcialonga when our team was decimated by health complications, this year we looked forward to Marcialonga and I counted with the participation of six Team PIONEER Investements athletes in advance. Unfortunately for us Marcialonga probably jinxed, because also this year we were strugling with healthand etc...

 

 

First change of plans related to Alexis, who, thanks to a great races is fighting for the World Championships in Lahti 2017 nomination and thus he had an obligation to start the same weekend on the World Cup in Falun, so -1 ... unfortunatelly one week efore the race I got sick and antibiotics were needed :-( ... well, -2 ... After a great LaDiagonela where Ilya won, Barbara ended up in a great 7th place, Alexis and Jan (despite problems with a broken pole) did a very good race, we didn´t saw this problems like big, but it was not the end…

 

Unfortunately, on Thursday morning, after the team Press Release publication of team composition for Marcialonga, we got an unpleasant information that even Ilya got sick ... Then -3 plus the fact that I was counting on the fact that Jan had be a "point advance" and Jiri clearly goes to Marcialonga for experience (he competed in SkiClassics only LaSgambeda)... so I´ve started to deal with a new team competitor, which I brought to the team (currently we have officially registered 7 athletes and the rules allow up to 10 competitors / team / season and just for these reasons I kept 3 free spots ...). Of course it was not easy, but several "names" in reserve I had. I decided for Swedish racer Markus Jönsson, who proved to be in the Top 10 on both the Marcialonga, and Vasaloppet in the past and clearly I believe that he is currently able to be around TOP 30... Of course, the goal was to secure points for the team competition (always count 2 the best men athletes and the best woman of each team), where I´ve set an ambitious goal - TOP 5 and any missing points can be a problem ..

 

Finally everything went well, Markus was surprised (it was just two days into the race), but he was healthy and interested to „jump in“. Then find some transport for him from Sweden to Italy and on Friday around noon, he was sitting in the plane to Milano ... Also the communication took place with SkiClassics and Marcialonga organizers of unexpected problems and the need to replace competitors ... and although Markus has traveled to Marcialonga still was not 100 % certain if he will be allowed to start... it was not easy, but we got „green light“ on Saturday afternoon (less than 24 hours before the start)and I could relax that Markus did not travel to Italy for nothing ...

 

The race itself was not perfect for us, unfortunately, athletes were not avoid trouble with poles (on these narrow tracks were frequent collisions between athletes, when the field was overcrowded and sticks were refracted very often :-(). However, Markus had to chase poles 4x, Jan 2x and Jiri 1x :-(.

 

At the finish belonged to Barbara excellent 9th place; Jan was out of energy in the end of the race and ended on the average 44th place; Markus after these troubles 56th and Jirka 129th.

 

Marcialonga showed us once again that we have to wait for  some TOP results at least one year more, but even that I do not regret the efforts, at least in part to replace me, Ilya and Alexis absence, despite it doesn´t ended how I´ve planned, but Markus will be a good reinforcement to some other races even further impulse for the team.

 

Lukas

 

 

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