What was missed by few centimeters during Pro Team Tempo - VISMA Ski Classics mening race, this was done at the second VISMA SkiClassics – L Sgambeda. Katerina Smutna took the second place at La Sgambeda and it was the first medal podium for Bauer Ski Team this season. And it was 6 tenths of second a split from the first, such tight finish! The best man of the team was Alexis Jeannerod in 17th place, who replaced sick Ilya Chernousov, just day before the race.
The first individual race of the season started by women, whose field was torn apart after five kilometers out of a total of 35 kilometers. The seven-member group was in the lead, and with only four girls group 15 kilometers before the finish. There was also Katerina Smutna among them, and it was so clear that she would fight for the victory. "I absolutely did not expect to be among the first three, because I felt sick on Thursday," the Czech athlete said. "Katerina went to visit her doctor on Thursday and passed some tests, because we didn´t want to take any risk. Fortunately, they did not reveal anything of the essence; on Friday she came back to Livigno join the team and she did ski test in the afternoon. After all, her second place is a complete bomb! "Lukas Bauer, the team director, rejoiced with success.
In the Pro Team Tempo, Smutna missed the third place in just 5 tenths of a second, this time she lost only 6 tenths of second to winner- Britta Johansson Norgren, VISMA SkiClassics 2016/17 Champion. "Because of the illness, I take it all and I am very happy, I did not count on it at all," Smutna said after the race. "It was not a bad race, just on the highest point of the course, where was the climb premie I had a bit of a crisis, but I´ve managed it well also thanks to great skis. The last few kilometers I led our group and waited for finish sprint. "In the top ten beside Smutna, there was also another woman from Bauer Ski Team, the ninth Barbara Jezersek.
During the men's race, there was also „show time“ ;-) for Jan Srail, who was puding the leading group for a while. His teammate Alexis Jeannerod, joined him for few minutes there also, but he saved more strengths for the end of the 35km race and finished in the main group on the 17th place as the best of the three men from Bauer Ski Team. "His performance and 17th place are very pleasing to me, especially when he came to Livigno at the last minute to replace Ilja Cernousov, who finished 2nd at La Sgambeda last year," commented Lukas Bauer Alexis´s result.
"Of course, I was very pleased with Jan Srail´s activity as well, who I came to in the final kilometers and tried to help him in our group. It was clear that he had a better chance of going forward in finish sprint than I, "said Lukas Bauer. He finished La Sgambeda in 40th place, Jan Srail finished 33rd. "I must also say thank you to our service team. Both, me and Katka had such a great skis. I´m very satisfied with team result and performance in LaSgambeda“, said Lukas Bauer.
The next Visma Ski Classics race will be held on 13 January 2018, when the Kaiser Maximilian Lauf (60 km) is in the program in Seefeld, Austria. "It´s a pitty that there is such long break till next race. But we can make a good training, Ilya will have enough time to get healthy and also for training and I personally hope, that if I can do good training in December, I may have some individual ambitions there already, "Lukas Bauer looks forward to the next VISMA SkiClassics race.
photo: Bauer Ski Team, Magnus Östh, VISMA SkiClassics