Another valuable results of the Czech team in the Visma Ski Classics series was provided by the Bauer Ski Team in today's Birkebeinerrennet. Katerina Smutna finished Norwegian´s Birkebeinerrennet in second place, and again with a big difference to the leading woman - Britta Johanson Norgren. Ilya Chernousov, after two races, returned to the top ten with a great seventh place.
Katerina Smutna decided to use skis with the kick wax for 54km race and shortly after the start she created a three-member group with last year's winner Justyna Kowalczyk and Astrid Slind. However, this trio has not long survived together because the Polish skier skied away for defending victory. "It could be expected, it was her first marathon this year, so she was relatively fresh. Then the race pace at the beginning was high enough, "Smutna said at the end of the race.
The Czech athlete competed the most of Birkebeinerrennet together with Slind, 5 kilometers ahead of the finish line did a break away and finished second. "I'm very happy because yesterday I did not feel very well and I went to the race with the personal expectation that maybe the fifth place will be possible. After Vasaloppet I was sick, I had a cough and a cold. Then it was good, but yesterday again. But today I was doing great and I never enjoyed Birken as today, "laughed Smutna.
She also made a significant difference to the leading woman of the VISMA SkiClassics serie - Swedish Norgren, who finished fourth and lost to Smutna for over 10 minutes. "It was clear that the girls who skied on the skis without kick wax will have tough race today, especially in this very cold conditions. At the start, it was about minus twenty degrees Celsius, the first five kilometers were terrible, I had completely frozen lungs, "said Smutna, who was clear beforehand that she would go on the skis with kick wax. "I´was sure that I will not doublepole this race. Also because I did not feel very well before the race. It turned out to be a good choice. And I had great skis! "
Men also competed with high pace from the first kilometers. The high pace broke the starting field soon and a seven-member group was formed in the lead. In the second group were two members of the Bauer Ski Team - Alexis Jeannerod and Ilya Chernousov. "The first 16 kilometers were very tough for me, then it was better. But our difference to leading group increased, somewhere the snow was blowing in the track and the track was therefore difficult. I then decided to go on my own pace, I had excellent skis and I have to praise the service, " Ilya Chernousov described his situation.
Leading group was broken later to smaller parts and the athletes crossed the finish line mostly alone, as was the case for the seventh fastest man Ilya Chernousov. "I took the top ten position, it was not bad. It can always be better, but I'm happy with the result."
Alexis Jeannerod finished as 29th, Roxane Lacroix as 22nd, Jan Srail finished 87th., Lukas Bauer 102. and Adam Fellner 107. In the overall team ranking, Bauer Ski Team moved to 4th place and for the other points in the series they will fight on April 7 on really challenging track of Reistadlopet.