It was again a season in which he was focused for WCH in Lahti and managing Team PIONEER Investments as well. Lukas Bauer was looking forward for personal success at the World Championships. He went on training, participated in the World Cups to be able to say goodbye to National team after the World Championship in Lahti, Finland at the beginning of March. So with a team in which he had both silver and bronze successes at the Olympics and the World Championships. He finished 18th in 15km classic and said, "If I take it in general, I am so happy, because the 18th place is a decent result. When I look at how long my career has been, what I´ve had health problems, I can say that it was successful goodbye. "
At the same time, however, Lukas Bauer was also the boss and athlete of Team PIONEER Investments, who specializes in long-distance si races in VISMA SkiClassics series throughout the ski season. This season there was first team victory, when Ilya Chernousov triumphed at La Diagonela in January, Lukas finished fourth in Norwegian Reistadløpet, and more strong results were achieved! Sometimes he did not know where his head was. Managing the ensemble of servicemen and athletes is a tough job. Still, he says: "My own priority was all about the world championship, and I planned to miss some Ski Classics races to get ready for a championship, where I planned to retire from National team. But I always wanted to do my best , when I was at the start o any long-distance race from VISMA SkiClassics. It´s very different skiing compare to WC and there are different needs to athletes, if they want bet he best. And I ave to say that I like it, despite the fact, that I´m not so strong there like in traditional skiing. I could say I'm old, but I want to show that I can handle it and I´m looking for improvement. "
Already after the World Championship in Lahti, there were questions from journalists about how strong decision about retirement from National team i tis. Especially when the Olympics in Korea are so close. Bauer just smiled. "The plan is that I will not train with the goal to be nominated for the Olympics. My goal is to take care about my team – Team PIONEER Investments, focused for VISMA SkiClassics – secured financial budget, plan the season with the goal to be again litlle bit stronger as a team. If I will manage it and there will be still some time for training, I will train for sure and deppends on my shape I will took part in races. It´s not easy to leave National team, WC skiing world, but I had long and successful carrer and now it´s time for youngsters.“ Even when you talk to Bauer, you can feel how much focused he is for his team and long-distance racing. As a rider he was a perfectionist, the same is true of him as manager. "My goal was to create an international team in which Czech athletes could learn, we are growing every year, new and new tasks are being added, and I am glad to put it in the cluster." This season it was quite challenging, we had 12 athletes and 12 people around (servicemen, photographers, feeders,..). Sometimes it was not easy, but we did it. All this would not be possible without team partners and I want to thank them very much for their team support. "
And the results can show that we improved compare to last year. We earned half points more than last year as a team. Although the fact that we dropped in the overall team rankings from 6th to 7th, but Bauer knows: "The season was much more competitive from the point of view of the competition, we have two podiums, thirteen times in the top ten, which are significantly better than last year. Our members have scored, everyone improved, our team leaders were Ilya Chernousov and Barbara Jezersek like was planned before the season. And despite the fact that the whole start field was stronger then ever efore, we had a good season " He had experienced the moment when he was sad, like after the bad results in Toblach. There, otherwise, a perfect service failed with waxing. But again, he kicked off excellent performances on Reistadlöpet and the famous Vasaloppet. "I thought, Yes, it's worth it. "
But it´s said, The King is dead, let the king live. So Bauer is looking at the next season. The first key is that Ilya Chernousov, who had the only one-year contract, stays in the team also for next season. And his values not only the sport results, which he regularly provides for Team PIONEER Investments, but also the influence what he has on young team colleagues. "He has a team spirit, and even though he has a Sochi Olympic medal, he does not hide his training methods, he is willing to explain to boys why and what he is doing, and at the same time the guys can see that he is not a robot, but a normal guy. I like it very much, "says Bauer. There is also Barbara Jezerek and Lukas Bauer is looking for an another girl athlete to get her a colleague. This is also because Barbara Jezersek has participated in the World Championship this year and she will fight for the Olympics next year. "She's got a lot of progress, but we're racing during the Olympics also, then another girl is needed I guess. And the fact that she will be not alone girl in the team, with some training rivality, it can be very good for all," Bauer explains. Other members remain, only Jiri Harcuba leaves. Of course not for all – for example Martin Jaks, Alexis Jeannerod, Adam Fellner - is long-distance skiing the main "livelihood". He also participates in the World Cup, dreaming of the Olympic Games in Korea. "So we're going to look for a balance to put them together with the team, and we're definitely not going to force anyone to skip some World Cup race, because we need him in SkiClassics, it can´t work," says Bauer. At the same time it is clear to him that he is learning „during the way“, and it´s also the mason why we want to improve some smaller things till next season. "It is important to think about what we can do better because we are just people, and I also want to hear the opinions of our team partners because cooperation must always be beneficial to both sides."
11 364km for children suffering with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
39 years old medalist from the World Championships But he knows that the world is not only about seconds, race kilometers, sport... Now it´s 2 years already when Team PIONEER Investments works with End Duchenne Foundation, who helps to children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. During the races, Team PIONEER Investments together it´s Hobby team athletes, wear the Foundation's logo on the racing suits and all race kilometers are counted. After each season are kilometers turns into Czech crowns (1km=1CZK) and donated to End Duchenne Foundation. In this season, the "pioneers" have put together 11 364 kilometers… cca 2 000 kilometers more then last year…
How many kilometers it will be next season???