For the second time in a row, Bauer Ski Team members won two podium places at the Visma Ski Classics race for the second time in a row. In today's Marcialonga, Ilya Chernousov and Katerina Smutna have even improved their placements since the last race, when Chernousov triumphed among the men and Smutna came second among the women. She fought for victory till the last few meters, just missing by 5 tenths of a second.
Ilya Chernousov graduated the famous Marcialonga for the first time in his career this year and did not hesitate for a while. From the beginning, he was in the front and when the lead group approached the decisive final climb, he went with another three of his rivals off all other competitors. In addition, he managed to break into the head of the last hundred meters of a steep climb and defeated Norwegian athlete Berdal, with a very close finish of 2 tenths of a second, with whom he fought for triumph in the last few centimeters. "I can not believe it, I'm incredibly happy! I did my first Marcialonga, it's the race I dreamed about, it's a sweeter victory! Winning this race at the first start is incredible for me, "said the Russian athlete racing champion of the Bauer Ski Team. "I knew it would decide on the final two-kilometer climb, so I was trying to keep up with the energy until the end. It was very difficult, it was fast, sometimes sprinted. It was not easy, but I think I chose good tactics today. "
Katerina Smutna was fighting for victory and winning team´s double in the race for the Lukas Bauer team till the last few meters, who was able to win this race twice already. Her biggest rival was again Britta Norgren,the sovereign of this year, with whom Smutna skied from 25th kilometer alone as race leaders. It was this pair that fought in the final climb for the triumph and it was very thrilling fight. There had a Swedish skier a little more power in it and defeated Smutna by 5 tenths of a second. "I'm so happy. Of course, those two meters are pitty, but I'm glad to show that I'm in top form. I have to say that I believed in the final climb, and I thought I was a little bit better on it. But in the end, Britta had a little more power. Otherwise, I was doing well today, and I am happy for this result," Smutna said after Marcialonga race.
Lukas Bauer took off the premiere at the famous Marcialonga and finished 47th in the race. As the team director, however, he has other priorities than be fully focused for his individual result and, of course, he was extremely pleased with the performance of his athletes. In addition to the podium standings for Smutna and Chernousov, there were good results for Alexis Jeannerod (17th place) and good fight for Jan Srail, who had big crissis in 2nd half of the race. "The results are great! Ilya was absolutely sensational today, Katerina too. We broke up last week when Ilya was second and Katerina third, now it's even one level better, "Bauer rejoiced, the Chernousov´s triumph had been predicted. "Before the race I said to Ilya that in Kaiser Maximilian Lauf he was third, then second at La Diagnela, so that now it´s clear that he is going to win. Ilya laughed, but it was done. "
Both Bauer team leaders are ranked 2nd in the overall VISMA Ski Classics standing, which is a great business card for the Czech team. "Of course, it looks great. I'm mainly focused for the team standing, but these individual achievements and charts are wonderful. It shows that the team is strong. It is mainly Katerina and Ilya, but I am glad that both Honza Srail and Alexis Jeannerod are improving and they have races in which they are able to show or reach their maximum, "said Lukas Bauer, who once again praised the work of the service team. "I have to praise the service, because we had a great skis and also feeding along the track was perfect. I'm glad that it works well in the team at all aspects."
The prestigious Visma Ski Classics long-distance series continues next week, when Cortina-Toblach is on schedule. This will be final race of a demanding arcade with four starts in four weeks.