The Long Distance Ski Championship

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SKI TEAM BAUER (Ranking 6)

Written by: Teemu Virtanen

The word "Legend" may often be used too gauzily in sports, but Lucas Bauer has truly earned this title. He has three Olympic medals, two World Championship medals, one Junior Championship medal, two Tour de Ski victories, one overall World Cup win and countless podium places in the FIS World Cup.

Last season he managed to be 4th in Reistadløpet where the course was the most challenging. And his team certainly has winners in the shape of two great athletes; Katerina Smutná and Ilya Chernousov.

Katerina shook hands with the Aukland brothers, closed the door on her way and opened another one when she walked into the room where Mr. Bauer was having his party. And that's exactly what the party needed -- a homebred winner with five consecutive victories last season. Ilya, on the other hand, was already a member of the team, then known as Team Pioneer Investments, and a strong one indeed with his win in La Diagonela, 2nd place in Sgambeda and 8th in the overall results.

The four other skiers in the team do not have the same clout and reputation as the three leading stars, but they play an important supporting role in Lucas Bauer's narrative.

Jan Šrail is a good top 40/50 skier while Alexia Jeannerod is a tad better with his 10th place in Reistadløpet and 20th in Ylläs-Levi. Adam Fellner does not pale in comparison with his 28th place in Reistadløpet and 40th in Ylläs-Levi. Barbara Jezersek brings some exotic flavor to the party as she hails from the land of koala bears and kangaroos. But that's not the only thing she can bring in since her points are valuable to the team; in the top 10 in every individual race except Årefjällsloppet and Birkebeinerrennet.

The Australian influence is fortified by Russian (Ilya) and French (Alexia) expertise making this Czech team an intriguing international performance troupe acting on the stage of Visma Ski Classics. Let's hope that the Act One grabs our attention and the excitement remains throughout the play.