Keep the medal´s wave from previous three VISMA SkiClassics races will try members of the Bauer Ski Team on Marcialonga, Italy. The next Visma Ski Classics race is on Sunday and the Bauer Ski Team will have five athletes at the start. For the first time in his career, Lukas Bauer will compete at this famous race, Katerina Smutna will defend last year's victory.
It will be 4th Marcialonga for Katerina Smutna. In her previous three starts, she was able to win twice, and once she finished second. Katerina, the second in VISMA SkiClassics overall standing, want to attack medal´s podium this year as well. "The race should be good for Katerina, she has always been successful in the past. Ilya Chernousov could move in positions around the podium. I would be very glad if we kept the trend to stand on the medal´s podium in every race, "says Lukas Bauer, team director.
Bauer himself was on the start list of famous Marcialonga already in the sixth edition of the Visma Ski Classics series, but this year he will start finally for the first time. Only once he enjoyed great Marcialonga atmosphere as a member of the service team. "I've been enrolled several times, but it's always been canceled from my side because of illness or injury. Last year I preferred preparation towards WCH Lahti, because I had some health troubles before... So now it will be the first time for me, and I'm looking forward to the race even though I have respect for it and I know it will hurt. And because there's not much time left for me for training because of the big ammount of work around the team."
It will be also first time Marcialonga for Ilya Chernousov, who have podium results from the previuos two VISMA SkiClassics and he earned important points for the team competition also. "I hope to recover well after the last long race in Switzerland (LaDiagonela) and I want be able to perform as best as possible," says Ilya Chernousov, fourth men in Visma Ski Classics overall standing.
Jan Srail, will be relegated to the next race of the series, encouraged by the personal maximum from LaDiagonela. A 27-year-old athlete from Sumava came 23rd at La Diagonela and would like to look into the top twenty in one of the next races. "If it will happen in Marcialonga, it would be the best. It is one of the most well-known races, probably the most famous after Vasaloppet. It will be very long and there is no any place for the rest during whole race," Srail realizes after last year's experience.
"Marcialonga's pitfalls are that the track is very narrow, there are a lot of broken poles every year. It's because of such a nervous race. Most of the tracks lead from a mild hill, where you have to work hard to keep the maximal speed, but there are also several steep hills and especially famous "Cascata hill" at the end that is quite brutal after 70 kilometers, "explains Lukas Bauer Sunday race. His team's colors will be also attended by French athlete Alexis Jeannerod, who took the 18th place at La Sagambeda and he performed well also in classic World Cups this season. "If he will be again in top twenty, I'll be very happy. Our goals are high, I want at least one podium, but it will be tough," concludes Bauer.