Vltava Fund Ski Team – Pro Team Presentation Season XIV
This Czech Pro Team has been an active player in Ski Classics for many years, and many international skiers have been offered a platform to show their capabilities. Again, there are two athletes outside of the Czech Republic: Johannes Kuchl from Germany and Nicole Donzallaz from Switzerland. The remaining four members are local skiers.
The aforementioned international recruits represent both youth and experience. Johannes Kuchl is only a 20-year-old skier who is not a complete rookie in long-distance skiing. He raced at two Pro Tour events last winter: Pustertaler Ski Marathon, 80th place, and Jizerská50, 61st place. He also participated in two Ski Classics Challengers events: Ganghoferlauf Skating, 23rd place, and Ganghoferlauf Classic, 5th position.
Nicole Donzallaz, on the other hand, has been skiing all her life, participated in many long-distance ski races in Europe, and finished five Pro Tour events last season. She was in the top 20 finishers’ group, finishing 20th at Årefjällsloppet and just outside of the top 30 in all other events. However, she was fourth at König Ludwig Lauf, about 21 minutes behind the winner Lina Korsgren.
Of the two remaining Czech Pro Team male athletes, Jan Šrail is the highest ranked in the Ski Classics Champion competition with his 36th place. However, his teammate Fabián Štoček was breathing down his neck throughout the season and is the 49th best Pro Team athlete in the overall ranking. They both were very even performers in Season XII. Jan’s results ranged from Vasaloppet’s 44th to Engadin La Diagonela’s 23rd, while Fabián’s results ended up being between La Venosta Time Trial’s 55th place and Engadin La Diagonela’s 25th place.
The two other female skiers on the team are Sandra Schützová and Tereza Tůmová. The former raced at the Alpen Cup before starting her Pro Tour racing at La Venosta Time Trial, where she ended up being 27th. After that, she was present at six events with top 20 finishes. At Tartu Maraton and Jizerská50, she was just outside of the top 10. The latter finished four Pro Tour events during Season XII, and she was in and out of the top 30 in all of them.
This Pro Team has some seasoned skiers who can score points, but they lack a star performer who could be in the top 10, or even the top 20, regularly. However, they will fight tooth and nail for the title of the best Czech Pro Team in Season XIV.