Cross-country skier Michal Novák reached his season´s best when in 15 km C finished at 15th place in Falun. Alexander Bolshunov (RUS) won again in spite of dealing with a fall down. Among women in 10 km C home Linn Svahn (SWE) dominated, Kateřina Razýmová (CZE) finished at 18th place.
Novák missed the first race in Falun due to some administrative problems connected with pandemic. However, on Saturday he confirmed his shape is increasing when heading closer to Nové Město na Moravě.
Novák controlled the race since the very beginning and for the whole 15 km he stayed in the leading group, he did not lose contact with the best even when they started to increase their pace in the last circuit. Thanks to that he finished at amazing 15th place, crossing the finish line only 10.7 seconds after the winner.
"The pace was quite okay for the whole race. The only thing that was hard was that we run in a big group and I sometimes got blocked somewhere and could only wait for others´ moves. Today the downhills were totally crazy because the snow was frozen and fast, on the contrary, the trail was quite shallow so the skis flew sometimes off the line. That´s also why there were so many falls down. The only thing I´m sorry for is the finish that could be better. I got heated in uphill. But in general I´m satisfied with my 15th place," Michal Novák said.
Jonáš Bešťák was long sticked at the end of very crowdy leading group and started to lose contact with them in the second half of the race. Finally, she ranked at 44th place losing 1:11.1. Adam Fellner suffered from the mass fall down and because of leg pain he retired from the race.
"I´m sorry for Adam´s falling down that was really mass one and very hard. Several skiers were bruised and had broken poles or torn overalls. Adam tried to continue but he just couldn´t because of the pain in his leg. Otherwise, I´m very happy. Michal´s 15th place is fantastic and Jonáš also pleased me. So hopefully it goes like this in next races, too," the coach Vasil Husák said.
Falls down happened also in women´s race but Czech skiers avoided them. Kateřina Razýmová started with a number 11 that offered her convenient start position. In the first half of the race about 15-skiers-big group being lead by Johaug (NOR) worked on a slight margin. Razýmová was meanwhile moving somewhere about 22nd place but was checking the top positions. In the second half the leading group numbered about 12 skiers being chased by individual rivals or smaller groups. Razýmová tried to catch one of those and sometimes she was successful. Czech skier finally ranked at 18th place losing 38.2 seconds to winner.
"Girls in the lead jumped forward and I couldn´t catch them. I don´t think it was a bad result today but I´m definitely not as satisfied as the last time. In classic mass starts I´d like to rank higher so there is a space for improvement," Kateřina Razýmová said after the race.
Petra Hynčicová finished 41st with a margin 1:47.9. Petra Nováková should also have started but she finally missed this race for health reasons.