By Johan Trygg
There will be a lot of changes in eD system Bauer Team when season XI starts in November.
We will recognize Kateřina Smutná, Anna Sixtová and Ilia Poroshkin from season X but otherwise, we will see a lot of changes.
We checked the situation with Pro Team Director Lukáš Bauer.
Hi Lukáš! What is the status of rebuilding your Pro Team?
"After almost four years when the team was mostly growing on the athlete's side, I've decided to make some changes and personal changes were one of them. In the end, it was not just minor changes from more than one reason. Kateřina Smutná and Anna Sixtová are the core of the "rebuilt" team," says Bauer and continues;
"On the men's side, we now have three Czech athletes: Jonas Bestak, Miroslav Rypl and Adam Matous, all with Czech national team experiences (senior or junior team) and one Russian athlete, Ilia Poroshkin. He will join the team for 5-6 races during season XI. He did only one race in season X, Jizerska 50, with a really promising 15th place."
"This is the current status of rebuilding eD system Bauer Team. We are working with two scenarios: The first is that we will keep the team as I said and Kateřina will maintain the level of performance and our focus for the next two years will be to support and learn new athletes to grow up to world-class level. The second scenario is that if we find some promising athletes from abroad, then we will set higher results expectations already for the next two years... So, we are open to both scenarios and we are ready to support more athletes already this season.
There are have been some rumors that you might sign Tord Asle Gjerdalen. Is there anything you can confirm?
"I was in touch with Tord Asle, when I'd read the information that he is not part of Team Ragde Eiendom anymore, but there are no signs that he can join eD system Bauer Team. But I've heard the rumors my self as well."
Will you line up with a competitive Pro Team when season XI kicks off?
"Despite my big focus to eD system Bauer Team, managing many important things around and situation that I like and I'm very interested in Visma Ski Classics, I'm also fully responsible for the Polish National Men's Team as a Head coach. So I have to be present in World Cups and I'm joining eD system Bauer Team for Visma Ski Classics event in person only during weekends when there is no collision with World Cup. I wish I could be more often at the Ski Classics races but this is my job situation right now."
What do your days look like with lots of work with both the Polish National Team and eD system Bauer Team? Sounds like a lot of work?
"In the spring, it was tough due to the COVID-19 situation and it was a time when a lot of things were changed and also had to be decided: Should I continue with the Pro Team? What direction of the Pro Team have to be set? What strategy should I have? There were a lot of questions because I've felt that some changes were needed."
"But right now I'm almost fully back in "standard" flow when I'm mixing my days to my family, planing and managing things (training and system) around Polish National Men's Team and coordinating eD system Bauer Team. The best moments are when we have training camps because from the moment when the boarders were reopened; both teams train together just with small differences and a lot of benefits for both. After the first successful season with Polish National Men's Team I guess, we managed to have a good system. Everybody knows what's needed to do and it's a pleasure to see the huge difference what and how things work now and compared to the situation were at the beginning. This year I'm also coordinating with junior teams. So its a lot of work, new inputs and challenges but what I like most is finding resources and setting a system... I think we are in a good way, so I hope that it will be more and more visible year by year in World Cup results lists."
How is your physical status these days? Do you still keep on training, and how much?
"My number one priority is to support my athletes as much as possible and I'm not focused on my own sports results anymore. I think I had a good career and it was long enough. I think I maximized my career. I still exercise just for fun and to keep my weight on a good level. But I've joined some competitions in orienteering, for example. So sometimes I'm still with race with a bib on my chest."