First was a pleasure after Smutna and Chernousov´s second places and other team members results as well, then the sadness of Ilya´s disqualification for an incident on the track. The Bauer Ski Team has done another successful race in the VISMA Ski Classics series and was once again the most visible of the Czech teams. However, the third "podium´s double" wasn´t happened by a jury decision against which Bauer Ski Team will appeal.
Katerina Smutna extended her series on the podium for the third race in a row, for the second consecutive time, she had a thrilling and very close finish with her biggest rival, the leading woman of the series Britta Norgren. Smutna, the entire 50-kilometer race has secured her position in the leading group, where were 6 women up to last few kilometers. At the very end, the pair of the best women went to fight again for victory in finish sprint.
Lukas Bauer, the team leader, was very happy for another podium for Katerina Smutna. He did not compete this time and worked as part of service team. "The second place of Katerina is great. I have to say that I was worried, if she will have enough energy after tough 4 weeks in a row. Fortunately, she had not big problem, so I have to personally make compliment to her for this challenging series."
Among the men, Ilya Chernous was successful on the track, who, after Marcialonga victory, fought for triumph in Cortina d'Ampezzo. In the final sprint he made a close fight with Gjerdalen, what had to be decided by the photo. It was clear that Cernousov had finished second, but he did not enjoy the silver position for a long time. Shortly after the race, he was disqualified for an obstruction, earlier during the race . "The official statement of the jury is that it caused the obstruction that the competitor fell behind him. The jury's duty is to give him a yellow card, and because he already had a Marcialong excuse, two cards mean disqualification. But we are disscussing if Ilya have to be punished so strictly today or if only by word of warning (1st level). The collision took place 30km before the finish, the athelete was within 2 minutes of falling back into the leading group, and from the video you could see that the collision occurred inadvertently, "Lukas Bauer, Team Director, commented situation.
"I had the feeling that Race Director did not want to be resolved. In the end we got an information from him, that it´s 22 minutes after the race, and the protest can only be given within 15 minutes from the race finish. Now we have 48 hours to appeal and we want continue to deal with it, "explains Bauer.
Chernousov´s disqualification has commemorated the Bauer Ski Team, who was doing well in the race. In addition to Chernousov and Smutna, showed an excellent performance Alexis Jeannerod, who reached his personal best this season by his 16th place, Jan Srail, as the second fastest Czech skier on the 24th place and Roxane Lacroix, who took great 10th place in her debut for Bauer Ski Team. Adam Fellner finished Toblach-Cortina in 52nd place.
"I would like to praise all our competitors today because they were doing great. Roxane performed well in her debut, Alexis once again showed that they had to count on him. Jan Srail was close to his maximum, perfect, I think he returned well after not the best day in Marcialonga last wekend. Adam Fellner did his first marathon this season, a little worried, but he got it. I think it was super day for Bauer Ski Team except Ilya´s disqualification,"said Lukas Bauer.
photo: Magnus Östh; Michal Kubala - Bauer Ski Team