This time last week Lukáš Bauer was fuming. In fact, the Czech cross country skier was considering pulling out of the eight-stage Tour de Ski, after a bizarre mix-up involving new International Ski Federation rules denied him victory, and prize money, in two races. In the end Bauer decided to keep competing, and it was well worth his while: a convincing win on Sunday in the 10 km pursuit in the last stage at Italy’s Val di Fiemme confirmed overall victory for the 30-year-old. What’s more, the points that go with that victory give him a very good chance of winning the World Cup. Lukáš Bauer went into the final race in the lead, but even still he found it a struggle at times:
“Every metre I had to fight the idea of just turning around and giving up. From the beginning of the downhill section I could feel myself getting weaker. But then I learned that I was three minutes or so in front, which was a great surprise; that helped me in the final metres of the race.”
Here in the Czech Republic, Šárka Záhrobská managed to compete in a downhill skiing World Cup event in Špindlerův Mlýn, despite having stitches under one eye. The 22-year-old world champion finished a creditable fifth in the slalom in front of the home fans.
The cancellation of this year’s Dakar Rally due to fears of a terrorist attack has been a great disappointment to the famous race’s Czech competitors. Karel Loprais, a six-time winner in the truck category, said he was surprised by the decision – but understood it.
“The preparations took a lot of time and money, and calling off the race a day before the start is unusual. But if there is a threat to the lives of anyone at all then it’s the right decision.”
As expected, Jan Koller has left France’s Monaco for Nuremberg. The giant striker, 35 in March, has signed a two-and-a-half year contract with the Bundesliga side, who also feature his compatriots Tomáš Galásek and Jaromír Blažek. Meanwhile, Mladá Boleslav midfielder Marek Matějovský is reported to be on the verge of signing to English Premier League side Reading.
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