Johannes Thingnes Bö of Norway and Anastasia Kuzmina of Slovakia won the mass races that concluded the 3RD event of the World Cup series in Nové Město na Moravě. In the 15km men’s race, Quentin Fillon Maillet of France took silver, the bronze went to Jevgenij Garanichev of Russia. Paulina Fialková’s second place in the women’s 12.5km race brought a double for Slovakia, Anais Chevalier of France took the bronze in a thrilling battle on the finish line.

Two Czech racers were featured in the starting list of the men’s race: Ondřej Moravec finished eighth though after having missed the target two times in the first shooting, he skated in the 29th place at a certain point in the race. Michal Krčmář finished 10th.

What was said at the Vysočina Aréna:

Johannes Thingnes Bö
“Nové Město is one of the most favourite venues of mine. You feel like in an arena for gladiators there – nowhere else have I heard such noise, not even in Germany. The best fans and atmosphere in the whole World Cup, that’s for sure.”

Quentin Fillon Maillet
“The atmosphere here certainly is among the best in the world, the track is demanding, and the many people along the track push you to your limits. And I am talking about them supporting all of us, not only the Czechs. This is so nice, and makes for great atmosphere.”

Anastasia Kuzmina
“I believe that I am speaking on behalf of all athletes here who always look forward to racing at Nové Město. When you come in the area, you feel the strength and support that seem to literally give you wings. Here I realise that I have not come here just because of myself, but mainly because of the people who are here. Unbelievable and beautiful atmosphere.”

Paulina Fialková
“Amazing, simply amazing. I have raced nearly all over the world but never have I experienced such atmosphere. I always look forward to coming here to race, be it in summer or now during the world cup. I can say that I am proud that Czech and Slovak fans can create atmosphere that they have not got in Ruhpolding, Oberhof or Anterselva!“

Marte Olsbu Roeiseland
“The crowds in the arena are amazing, their constant cheering is great, and they support not only domestic but foreign racers, too. Thanks a lot, people in Nové Město!“

Anais Chevalier
“It is once in a lifetime experience to race in front of such a crowd. It is great for all of as for everyone is supported and motivated to race as hard as possible. Wow.”

Michal Krčmář
“I squeezed myself out of all energy I had at the start. I felt down after Saturday, I retreated within myself and tried to concentrate better. In the morning, I got a message from Kateřina Emmons that improved my self-confidence. She told me some technicalities and supported me mentally. This is the moment I would like to emphasise, as this is exactly why we have Kateřina in our team.

Hats off for the fans who came to support us in this weather. We do appreciate it. Due to our regeneration and health, we cannot always sign cards or have a selfie with everyone… but inside, we are so grateful to them for being here and giving us the loads of support. If you have a look into faces of other athletes, such as Fourcade or Bö, you can see how much they like the support from fans. In Hochfilzen, we had stayed with Italians in a hotel, and they could not wait for being here in Nové Město na Moravě, for experiencing the thundering stands again. It is rewarding for everyone in the starting list to race in the Vysočina Aréna.”

Ondřej Moravec
“The beginning was just a nightmare come true… Two misses and one place from the very end. Eventually, I finished eighth and this is a superb result. I decided it would be “make it or break it” for me after the indisposition of mine on Saturday, and it turned up great. I felt so good that I could accept the pace of… well, basically anyone. And when I took over Martin Fourcade shortly before the finish line, I realized that he is a human after all. I am really happy for the Sunday mass race as I myself needed such a result, the team needed it, too, and I think that our fans wanted it as well. Thank you all for such amazing support.”


Authors:  Tomáš Hermann, Michal Jilka
Photo: Václav Mudra

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