Czech cross-country skiing national team is heading to Tour de Ski with a new weapon. Since December they have had their own service truck, which they have been trying to gain for two years. "It’s a big milestone for our team because it makes our serviceman’s job easier. Now their facility can be compared to big teams," says Lukáš Sacher, the director of Czech cross-country skiing.
The service truck was bought by Czech Ski & Snowboard from Swiss national team and the negotiations began two years ago. For last several months the situation of getting the truck has been complicated not only by a coronavirus pandemic but also because of Switzerland being off the EU. That is why the Czech team had the truck at their disposal in Dresden for the first time.
"The truck was put into operation in 2012. Its length is 11 metres, width 2.5 metres and height 4 metres. The Swiss equipped the interior by special items, such as six work places, air conditioning, ski box for up to 290 pairs of skis. In order to be able to use the vehicle, we need to connect it to electricity at the location so we always have 70 metres of different cables," the head of Czech service team Martin Blaschke describes.
The service truck was first at disposal during the World Cup Dresden where Czech skiers reached great results. The first real test will happen during the races Tour de Ski that are demanding not only for athletes but also for service team’s members – from 1st to 10th January they are going to prepare skis for 16 races, there are going to be only two days off and they will have to manage moving between the venues.
"The service vehicle has 3 essential benefits - it saves our time, energy and also health. Now we don’t have to carry everything in boxes from vans to cabins where we waxed skis, keep packing and unpacking everything and running from hot inside to cold outside," Blaschke explains.
Meanwhile Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish or Russian teams have double-decker trucks that can slide up and to sides, Blaschke cannot see their bigger advantage. "We’ve got the same but smaller. Bigger teams need more work places. There’s no difference in the practical point of view but in the financial one there is, of course. They also need more time for packing. We’ve got everything ready in a few minutes. Regarding this our truck is the smallest but the best," Blaschke closes.