Surprise coup. Martin Koukal won the last FIS marathon competition before the Wasa Race on the upcoming Sunday. The 50km skating world champion of 2003 raced to his first victory in the FIS marathon cup on the Atomic World Cup Classic in the 50km race of the 39th Finlandia Hiihto in Lahti. In the overall marathon cup, the Czech now ranks forth.
The well elaborated plan for the race at minus 3 degrees and under perfect conditions in the cross-country ski run was like this: Koukal and his ATOMIC ski-tech team decided for the so-called double polling and did without any extra wax. It was a plan that worked out well, “After the Tartu Marathon we spent almost a week here to get to know the slope and test it well. The last kilometers were a pest, the last climb was very painful, but I knew that surviving these kilometers would also mean reaching the finish first. I could even choose the line. It worked out.“
Koukal, Olympic bronze medalist with the Czech relay team in 2010, will skip the 90km long Wasa Race after the efforts in Finland, “I will rest at home and then prepare for the Engadin Ski Marathon on the 11th of March. Right now, a good result in the FIS Marathon Cup is quite likely.“ The Czech ATOMIC athlete is currently forth with 226 points. There are still three races to go this season and Marcialonga winner Jörgen Aukland as the best ATOMIC athlete can now be found on 2nd place with 256 points.