Text by André Santos
The Czech athlete from Vltava Fund Ski Team conquered the title of Czech Republic Roller-Ski Champion, in a battle with some athletes from the Czech National Cross Country Ski Team and Czech long-distance legends like Stanislav Rezac, and he is now setting his sights on the upcoming winter season.
Jan Srail, a former Czech National Team and eD System Bauer Team member, won the Czech Republic Roller-Skiing Championship that took place in the Southern part of Czech Republic, in Liberec. The race consisted of a 12-kilometer uphill route with 610 meters of elevation change – called Jested.
“I was nervous because I have been training alone almost all summer, so I didn’t know what I could expect from myself. On the starting line, there were Czech National Team athletes, Polish National Team athletes, and some Czech long-distance skiers like Stanislav Rezac and Jiri Pliska,” Jan recalls the race.
The competition was tough, but Jan Srail was able to attack after the fifth kilometer, staying in the lead of a group of 15 athletes. After that, the course was ascending, and Jan kept feeling strong until the end. When there was only one kilometer to the finish line, the Czech long-distance skier increased the speed and was able to beat the Czech skier Adam Fellner by 12 seconds.
“I am happy because this year I have been training mainly alone. But I always try to find something new and include variations, so the training is different from the previous year. Now I am looking forward to the training camp with Vltava Fund Ski Team in Mallorca where we will focus on some hard roller-ski training, the last sessions before the winter arrives. And maybe we will include some beach parties” Jan says feeling optimistic about the training camp.
Jan Srail is really happy with his new team and shares that he feels like they are his second family and that both the managers and service team are truly supportive and do everything they can, so their athletes get the best results.
“My goal is to be the best Czech long-distance skier and to finish regularly in the top 20. Moreover, I will try to fight for the green bib”.
The Czech skier believes that having trained with Lukas Bauer also had a strong impact on his career, and on his actual shape.
“It is thanks to Lukas Bauer that I was able to continue skiing until today”, says Jan, feeling inspired by the hard work and friendly attitude that his former Team Director had.
Jan also believes that long-distance races are getting more and more popular in the Czech Republic, and that motivates him.
“I am really happy about the fact that we see a lot of enthusiasm around Jizerska 50, the most famous cross-country ski event in the Czech Republic. I hope that the popularity of long-distance skiing continues to increase and that more people can enjoy this atmosphere.”