Nové Město na Moravě hosted the domestic championship with international participation and by this event they tested their readiness for upcoming Cross-Country World Cup. Jan Pechoušek dominated the Czech Championship when winning three races and before the world’s elite will be introduced at Vysočina Arena, he performed interesting form. Petra Nováková won twice among women.
23-year-old Pechoušek got the upper hand in Friday’s sprint. The racer of Fenix Ski Team Jeseník entered the finals together with Luděk Šeller with competitors from Russia and Spain and in spite of the fact he had not been feeling well since the morning, he won.
"I didn’t feel well during the qualification, I had a stomach ache. Between the heats there was always a shorter break than usually so I only had a minute to catch my breath but I have to admit that with time I felt better," said Jan Pechoušek who decided his final race by his uphill performance. "It’s been only my second title, I got the first one like 10 years ago so I’m excited now," he added.
At that moment he did not know there are more titles awaiting. Right on Saturday he won also a distance classic even though his rivals were very strong, such as Czech Michal Novák or other skiers from Austria, Spain, Slovenia, Hungary and even Kenya. He finished the 10 km race first at all intermediate times. Silver was taken by Adam Fellner losing 4.8 seconds and bronze was fought by Jonáš Bešťák.
"I didn’t believe I could win today but I’m very happy," Jan Pechoušek commented. "I tried to smash it since the first circuit and I was waiting how long I could hold. In third and fourth one I felt tired but I was informed that me and Adam are going for the title so I’m glad I made it keep it."
Pechoušek confirmed his great form on Sunday as well when winning 15 km F Mass Start, too. "At first we all raced together in a group. In the second circuit Adam Fellner got faster in uphill near tunnels and the start list teared up. I was currently at 15th place so I had to reduce my margin to Adam, which cost me much power," Pechoušek tells. "Adam was attacking literally in each circuit and every time he teared it up in uphill, I had to chase him. I couldn’t even change him to lead because I simply had no power for that. We just tried to keep him with Tomáš Kalivoda. So I have to thank Adam that he made the whole race. I believed in myself for finish and I’m happy I made it."
"Three titles are huge encouragement for me. Two weeks ago in Austria I started to feel my performance was improving. Now it’s even better. So I hope to step it up," he added.
Tomáš Kalivoda finished for close 2nd place losing only 1.8 seconds. Adam Fellner was third with a margin 1.9 seconds.
Kateřina Razýmová and Kateřina Janatová both missed the championship so women’s podium was dominated by the third lady out of Czech strong trio – Petra Nováková. On Friday she was beaten by Petra Hynčincová in Sprint but on Saturday Nováková reigned 5 km when leading at each intermediate time and finally beat Hynčincová for 1.7 seconds.
"Today it was really hard. The weather was warm, snow was melting and moreover there very too many people going on trail before us. So the conditions were slow, snow wasn’t solid and was too deep for poles. I went most of the time off the track," Petra Nováková said. "My start was hasty, I wasn’t calm so about some 4th km I slowed down a bit but luckily I made it in the last uphill and the finish straight," Nováková evaluated.
On Sunday Nováková confirmed her role of the favourite one when winning 10 km F. "The first circuit was rather slower but in the second one I boosted in uphill near the tunnels and up there I had a margin. After that I tried to secure my margin but I didn’t want to go on my max because it was the third race in three days and we’ve got the WC on programme next week. I’m so glad I made it and won," Petra Nováková described the race from her point of view.