FIS Cross-Country World Cup returns to Nové Město na Moravě after 4 years but the then heros Therese Johaug and Maurice Manificat should have a chance to defend their title from Vysočina Arena. Both are still ranked among the world elite, especially Johaug will be one of the favourites as the 3rd woman in the last-season World Cup standings.
Meanwhile this time the venue will take two days, on 23rd January 2016 both races were held in one day. Men run their 15km free and the fastest was Manificat for whom this was his 5th triumph in the World Cup races and the first one after more than two years. Since then he has won other 5 races, the last one in Sweden in January.
Czech skiers were not very successful at that time. Martin Jakš finished 20th and as the only Czech he gained some points. Lukáš Bauer finished 43th soon after recovery of his injured ribs. "Of course, we couldn’t have expected that after 3 months of lying on a coach I’d make any result here. But I’m glad I could even start here," Bauer said.
Women run 10km free where Therese Johaug reigned. She was the fastest quite from the beginning and let no rivals to be in front of her. Norwegian Astrid Jacobsen was beaten for +4,6 seconds and American Jessica Diggins followed third. Czech racers did not gain any points, the best one was Petra Nováková at 38th position. She started sharply and over first 500m she followed Johaug with very similar time, however, her pace slowed down later and her standing got worse. Finally she lost 2 minutes behind the winning Norwegian.
For ten-times world champion and winner of 53 World Cup races Johaug it was one of the last triumphs before she was forced to interrupt her career because of doping in 2016. Nevertheless, after break she returned in top form and last season she won 11 races.
Nové Město na Moravě (23rd January 2016)
Men - 15 km F: 1. Manificat (Fr.) 34:04,9, 2. Sundby (Nor.) -10,8, 3. Usťugov -13,0, 4. Bělov (both Rus.) -29,5, 5. Krogh (Nor.) -32,7, 6. Červotkin (Rus.) -33,3, 7. Harvey (Can.) -41,3, 8. Gaillard (Fr.) -48,0, 9. Poltoranin (Kaz.) -48,8, 10. Livers (Switz.) -53,3, ...20. Jakš -1:16,4, 43. Bauer -2:14,5, 54. Novák -3:01,7, 59. Knop -3:11,6, 64. Gräf -3:37,4, 69. Bešťák -4:11,9, 72. Fellner -4:31,3, 75. Dudek -5:06,8, 77. Rypl -5:20,1, 78. Antoš -5:29,7, 81. Pilz (all Czech) -6:29,6.
Women, 10 km F: 1. Johaugová 25:09,1, 2. Jacobsenová (both Nor.) -4,6, 3. Digginsová (USA) -9,3, 4. Kallaová (Swed.) -13,5, 5. Hagaová -29,4, 6. Wengová (both Nor.) -31,1, 7. Von Siebenthalová (Switz.) -42,8, 8. Niskanenová (Fin.) -48,1, 9. Östbergová (Nor.) -49,3, 10. Pärmäkoskiová (Fin.) -58,4, ...38. Nováková -2:00,1, 48. Schützová -2:57,6, 50. Beroušková -2:59,2, 51. Klementová -3:01,1, 53. Sixtová -3:20,9, 56. Grohová -3:38,2, 59. Janatová (all Czech) -4:30,0.