Last season they launched an attack on the top five in the team competition of the prestigious long-distance series VISMA SkiClassics and celebrated their fourth place. This year, they would once again want to be among the five best teams, but they also dream of a bronze podium. The eight-member team around Lukáš Bauer will compete with the new name - eD system Bauer Team.
New title partner and the end of Lukas Bauer as active competitor during VISMA SkiClassics races. These are two major changes in the most successful Czech team, although there are also another news for new VISMA SkiClassics season. The team reports three new names, but the main remains unchanged. Like the two leaders - Katerina Smutna and Ilya Chernousov. "Both of them will have a main goal – Vasaloppet – and they will be really focused for. I´m expecting that Katerina can fight for victory in all races and I will be satisfied with all podium places for her in the overall standing, ideally for the first two places. With Ilya, after last year's excellent results, I expecting fighting for TOP 6 in each races as well for overall standing. Any podium placement would be a „candy“, because the competition among men is huge," says team director Lukas Bauer.
In addition to Smutna and Chernousov, Jan Srail, Alexis Jeannerod with Roxane Lacroix continue his team. The newcomers are 20-year-old Tereza Tvaruzkova and two Polish guys - Jan Antolec and Pawel Klisz. "Those three fit perfectly into a team. I was happy with both - team chemistry and sport side during all training camps. They are all professionals in all respects. They know, when it's time for fun and when to train hard. We did a lot of high quality trainings and I´m sure that we did a great deal of work," said Bauer, who built a team of skiers for whom long distance skiing is a priority. That's why Barbara Jezersek or Adam Fellner does not continue in this year.
Ambitions remain high
This year's prestigious VISMA SkiClassics season will kick off at the end of November and the most successful Czech team will be part of it for the fifth time. For the first time, it will be called the eD system Bauer Team and with distinctive pink overalls. "New Title partner, eD system, is a great news, because with the growth of the team, demands are also growing. I tried to secure this team in all respects, which is why I´m happy with another new partner – Pojistovna VZP, as new Main partner. All athletes will be covered by great instance products of Pojistovna VZP, thanks this cooperation, so they can train and compete in all VISMA SkiClassics races without any worries."
VISMA SkiClassics included 12 races this year, with two prologues, team and individual. They will be held this year, at the turn of November and December, the next starts in 2019. " There will be a series of five races in a row in January, what is a brutal affair I think. Then there will be a short break followed by three races along with a lot of traveling - starting with Vasaloppet in Sweden, then going for Engadin Skimarathon to Switzerland and back to Scandinavia for Birkebeinerrennet in Norway. These are two very challenging blocks, on which we want to be ready and especially healthy. If someone drops out of the disease because of illness, it can have a huge impact on overall individual and team standing, "says Bauer, who would like to succeed at Jizerska 50 on home soil. " It´s a pitty that Jizerska 50 is at the end of the five race weekends block. It is to be expected that the athletes will be already tired, so I have stated in our team that everyone will only have four races at this stage. An exception are our two leaders, who can choose whether they want to take everything to the overall ranking."
The final account of upcomming VISMA SkiClassics season will be on April 13, when the last race Ylläs-Levi will be held. After that, eD system Bauer Team would like to celebrate the same as last year, taking the fourth place in the team competition. "I would definitely like to go on with a great campaign from the last season. The dream would be the first three, but I will be happy with anything but five, "says Lukas Bauer, who will not compete in VISMA SkiClassics series this year. "It was a planned decision, I wanted to stretch all the forces on the managerial side and secure the team. In addition, I want to be very active in the service team and I assume responsibility for how good the skis will go. I stand behind the team, and I want to keep on doing it, I want to fight with boys and girls to fulfill their and our dreams, to experience all the peaks and falls with them."
Even this year, the Lukas Bauer team is also open to hobby skiers who can register on the website. And together with elite athletes they can contribute to the good thing again. "We are continuing cooperation with the End Duchenne project, a charity for children with muscular dystrophy. For each kilometer done in races, we take 1 Czech crown to their account, over the last season it was over 15,000 Czech crowns."