Nové Město looking forward to star start list

The Cross-Country World Cup in Nové Město na Moravě attracts the greatest world’s stars. In two months at Vysočina Arena there will be introduced all elite teams including the Skandinavians who has had a limited number of starts so far. Current WC leaders Russian Alexander Bolshunov and American Jessie Diggins are also coming. It is going to be a venue with one of the best participations of the season.

Meanwhile recent Tour de Ski was missed by many favourites, Nové Město awaits Finland, Norway, Sweden, Russian or USA. They want to take advantage of the fact that the 83rd season of Golden Ski is not only a race of the World Cup but also the last warm-up before upcoming World Championship.

"Absolute majority of teams confirmed their participation including Norway. The situation in each country and team is changing every day so it’s very difficult to predict how the final start lists look like," points out Lukáš Sacher, the director of Czech cross-country skiing.

Except the world’s stars also Czech skiers are going to be seen, they have gathered interesting results in the current season. In Saturday sprints Kateřina Janatová, Tereza Beranová or Michal Novák are the most expected to reach great results because they have already succeeded in top 10 on short tracks. On Sunday there will be held distance competitions to 10 km and 15 km F. Kateřina Razýmová will do her best to link to her latest success at Tour de Ski – fantastic 6th place.

"In comparison with the last year, this is a big change because last year there were only distance competitions in NMNM. FIS decided about involving sprint because there is a not-written rule saying that the last venue before the World Championship should host both, sprint and distance, in order the teams could test their current form and possibly adjust the start list for that event," Sacher explains.

Organizers are working on inclusion of all anti-epidemic measures. "We’re successfully approaching to get all necessary permissions including dispensation from the Ministry of Health Czech Republic," Sacher says. Unfortunately, fans aren’t allowed to be there and it’s a shame because they traditionally create amazing and supportive atmosphere. "We’d be excited for the fans to be able to come but a miracle would have to happen and the measures in the Czech Republic would have to radically change. At this moment, we sadly count on the version that the races will be without fans. The bigger emphasis we will lay on the quality of live broadcasting. In cooperation with the Czech TV Sport we’ll do our best to bring the best experience for the TV viewers," Sacher added.

A significant change will also be a trail because for the first time the skiers will race in the opposite direction than they are used to in Vysočina Arena. The racers will go uphill from the stadium to S-turns where they will turn down to toboggan and then they‘ll go up to Swings, to "Modříňák" and to tunnels where going through they‘ll the second part of the trail. "There were more reasons for a change. This 5 km circuit takes more advantages of the stadium’s logistics, it’s also more readable for TV and we also took account of the eco-friendly point of view during organization of the races: this way we’ll use maximum of the area and add only a short part of the track," explains  Jan Skřička general secretary of the WC NMNM.