Czech team is training on the Dachstein glacier

20 October 2011 13:41

It takes five minutes to climb up from the colorful fall to freezing winter. And when sunbeams glitter on the white snow plain, mountain tips touch blue skies… the workout on the 10 km packed course flies by faster.

The complete Czech Cross-Country team with fourteen skiers and four coaches have been finishing their last glacier altitude training block on Dachstein, in about 2800 m above the sea level.

“I’m satisfied but not really cool,” the Czech Cross-Country team leader Lukas Bauer says to “Every year it’s the same. You cannot breathe up here properly, you get tired faster and on top of that my knee has hurt now and then. On the other hand, I can see that despite some setbacks I did not lose too much from what I had trained before.,“ Bauer adds while stretching his legs on a bench in front of the guest house.

Czech skiers as well as Czech biathletes have been staying only a few meters lower, beneath the low gondola station. Czech Nordic combined team and ladies’ Cross-Country squad have been staying down in Ramsau. Service staff has been driving for meetings with SRS companies to finalize the selection of material for upcoming winter. There is much more on the training schedule than Cross-Country skiing; running with ski poles, or jogging to relief the body from high training load.

“I’m happy guys could swallow what we had prepared for them. However, we will not find out if we are sucessful until first races,” the Czech Cross-Country team head coach Miroslav Petrasek says. He’s been focused more on five distance specialists. Vaclav Korunka has been responsible for four Czech sprinters.

At first, skiers patiently do some photo shooting change their training and competition gears and line up for a team photo. “The old down!” sprint specialist Dusan Kozisek commands.

Main highlight of the season is definitely the FIS Tour de Ski. “There’s no other option. It would be absolutely beautiful to win it for the third time,” Lukas Bauer dreams and is happy about having the Tour longer by one stage. “Then I want to focus on World Cups. Only if Tour doesn’t go well and there is no chance for the Overall World Cup I would try Vasaloppet,” Bauer reflects on forthcoming season.

“It won’t be a relaxing season whatsoever. All skiers are professionals and they want to win. They can only adjust their program,” Miroslav Petrasek adds. Czech skiers would like to perform well on their home turf in Nove Mesto. The head coach is hoping for a good result of youngster Jiri Horcicka at the Junior World Championships in Erzurum, Turkey.

How does the new cooperation model between Petrasek and Bauer look like? “Lukas has fulfilled what has been required at joint training camps. I can see what his shape is. If he needs me, he can come,” the coach explains. Bauer though does not consult with him the overall training plan. “It’s on me. I need to adapt my training schedule so that it fits with German training blocks and I do not go tired from one training period to another. I know what I need. The main thing is not to make any mistakes in winter when I feel some overload,” Bauer explains.

Also ladies have been training in an unlikely big group. Experienced A team duo Nyvltova and Janeckova were joined by trio Chrástková, Schützová and sprint specialist Grohová. “We are happy to come to the first World Cup with a relay team,” the ladies’ coach Jiri Simunek quotes. “We will see how it goes and decide about future program,” his assistant Tomas Kaspar adds. 

Preparation of the two best Czech ladies was slowed down by health problems. Ivana Janeckova was two weeks on antibiotics, Eva Nyvltova has been coping with torn tendon in her sole. She got injured during a running competition. “It happened somewhere around 6th kilometer,” she describes. She was in the lead and in pain finished sixth. Since then she has had taped foot and has gone to laser treatment. Skiing has been limited only to skating. ”It should be OK now,“ she says.

The Czech Cross-Country team is returning from Dachstein on Sunday. On Monday, October 31 they are leaving again for the final training block in Norway. FIS Cross-Country World Cup kicks off only one week after Norwegian opening in Beitostoelen.

Press Release Czech Ski Team