Lukas Bauer team reached a huge success at La Diagonela, Visma SkiClassics race. Ilya Chernousov finished second, Katerina Smutna third. For the first time in the history of the long-distance serie, two representatives from the Czech team were placed at the medals podium in the same time. The excellent result was also made by the third member of the Bauer Ski Team, Jan Srail, who was the second fastest Czech skier finishing the race and with 23rd place he improved his maximum in the prestigious serie VISMA SkiClassics.
Last year's victories were defeated by Ilya Chernousov and Katerina Smutna. This year's La Diagonela was great for both again, and they both skied all the way at the top of their categories. In the men's category in the middle of 65km race went away thirteen-member group together with Ilya Chernousov. "Today were difficult conditions, the snow was slow. So it was important not to grab a gap on the best, "said a Russian athlete defending the colors of the Czech team.
Chernousov was in the front of the group while other competitors fallen out due high speed, leaving only four of them in the last few kilometers. Tord Asle Gjerdalen was the strongest in the end he celebrated the victory, Ilya Chernousov then kept his second position. For the second time, he fought for the medal podium where he lived for several years. "I'm very happy, it's a special race for me, of course. In the last few miles I gave everything. I knew at the end I was going uphill, where I can be strong. I felt that I had a chance, but Gjerdalen was better today and he was doing really well." Chernousov also scored the fourth place in the overall standing of Visma Ski Classics, thanks this great result.
Katerina Smutna, who has spent most of the race in the spell with her biggest rival and leading wife of the series, Brita Norgren, has also improved her VISMA SkiClassics Overall standings. Sweden's Korgren came to them later, and it was clear that these three would be fighting for the medals. VISMA SkiClassics leader, Brita Norgren, took the victory, Katerina Smutna finished 3rd and after the 6th place in the previous Kaiser Maximilian Lauf, she returned to the podium, and moved to second place overall.
Another member of the Bauer Ski Team, Jan Šrail, finished as the second fastest Czech athlete in the men's race, behind 16.th Stanislav Rezac, and with his 23rd place in the Visma Ski Classics he improved his personal best result in VISMA SkiClassics ever and ranked 24th in the overall ranking. "It's great, I'm very happy and I'm happy! I did not feel completely, I was a little weakened by virosis. But I was still trying to stay ahead. Finally, I went to the second group where Stanislav Rezac was, but he left me a little. It´s a pitty because „fastest Czech athlete position“ was possible but hope that it will happen next time! "was laughing Jan Srail.
Lukas Bauer, Team director, who skipped La Diagonela and worked like service team member during the race, could be very happy after the Swiss race. "It's a great follow-up to the stunning results of last year, both Ilya and Katerina went all over the race to fight for victory. I think Katerina had to fix the taste after the last race and it's another big milestone for our team. Having two athletes at medal´s position, it's a bomb! I am very happy with Jan Srail also, who made his best result ever. It's not a medal attack, but I'm glad he's moving up. It is obvious that everyone had good skis, so I have to thanks to service team."
The Visma Ski Classics long-distance ski serie is waiting for the next weekend, when the famous Marcialonga will be held on Sunday 28 February.