On 28th December the 14th season of stage event Tour de Ski opened in Swiss Lenzerheide and will be held until 5th January when in Val di Fiemme it reaches its end by legendary uphill of the AlpeCermis slope. During the whole event the skiers will race in several stages in Italian Toblach.
There will be seven Czech skiers participating in the Tour de Ski - Adam Fellner, Petr Knop, Michal Novák, Kateřina Janatová, Petra Nováková, Sandra Schützová and Kateřina Razýmová. Razýmová had to miss last OPA event because of her poor health condition but nowadays she is back.
"After waking up I had a sore throat so it was clear I can’t race and the main goal became soon recovery in order to be ready for the Tour," Razýmová says. She gradually continued with easy training such as walking and jogging. She started to train fully on Sunday. "With Lászlo we rethought our plan for me not to come to Tour after 10 days without skiing and untraditionally decided not to spend Christmas at our parents‘ but to travel to Davos where the skiing conditions are fantastic. We met many skiers from Finland, Russia, Norway or USA. This type of spending Christmas was chosen by many racers," she describes.
Regarding performance and results that Razýmová showed during opening events of the season, her ambitions are to be until 15th place on Tour. "I think this year will be harder than usual because on programme there is no other top venue and many skiers consider the Tour as the top to be aimed. It is proved by the number of racers spending Christmas rather here than at home. But we’ll see, as usually I will do my best to succeed," Razýmová says. She looks forward mostly to mass start races that she quite misses during season. This year her starting position would not have to be back. On the contrary, she does not look forward to her nervous feeling before every start. "It doesn’t matter if it is an individual race or Tour de Ski," she admits. "After some venues all racers calm down and all are at the same level. I like it. What’s worse is packing and moving," Razýmová adds.
Also Michal Novák was forced to miss one venue of the World Cup in Planice because of healthy problems, however, his pre-season training was not much influenced. "Basically the training before the Tour would be the same as if I was 100% healthy. I had mostly free trainings and in the last days I involved more intensive workouts. The biggest problem was snow," Novák explains.
He considers not participating in Planice as a good choice. "My shape is still the same, not optimal," Novák says. That is why he does not leave for the Tour with a specific goal and he hopes everything goes well in terms of health. "This year for the first time I was craving to go to Tour. In summer I watched the Tour de France and I told myself it has to be fun for the racer. The programme of this Tour is much more interesting than in previous years," Novák looks forward.
Programme of the Tour de Ski 2019/2020
Lenzerheide 10/15 km mass start, free technique
Lenzerheide sprint, free technique
Toblach 10/15 km, free technique
Toblach 10/15km pursuit classic
Val di Fiemme 10/15 km mass start classic
Val di Fiemme sprint classic
Val di Fiemme 9 km mass start, free technique