GeneralNewsRacingWorld CupTeam 16: Slovakia

Avatar Kieran JonesNovember 3, 2010

Slovakia

Nations Cup Ranking: 16th (419 pts)

Men: 14th (211 pts)

Women: 18th (208 pts)

2010/2011 A Team (Best estimate)

Men

Ivan Batory

Martin Bajcicak

Peter Mlynar

Michael Malak

Women

Alena Prochazkova

What you may have missed last season:

Alena Prochazkova finally cementing herself firmly in a position of authority in the Sprint Cup rankings. Prochazkova had sprinting dialed in last season, making the heats in every start she had on the World Cup. Furthermore, she capitalized on her chances, nailing down a bronze medal in her first start of the season in Kuusamo, then making another third place finish in Prague on the Tour de Ski.

Prochazkova (13) trails Kuitunen on her way to a bronze medal on the 2009/2010 Tour de Ski Prague sprint.

Meanwhile, her male team mate Martin Bajcicak avoided anything that looked like a sprint, doing his best work over 50 kilometers in Oslo, placing ninth. Between Bajcicak and Ivan Batory, the Slovaks had competent if not outstanding skiing, and even managed a 4×10 k relay team at the Olympics.

What You Should Know For This Season

YouTube thinks Ivan Batory’s classic technique is awesome!

At 26, Alena Prochazkova has emerged in the last couple of years as a bona fide sprint star. She’s versatile, excelling at both classic and skate, and just hitting her prime. While all the summer sprint talk was about Petra Majdic, and how terrible the Oslo World Championship sprint course is, Prochazkova is worthy of a discussing as a very legitimate contender.

Who You Should Watch

While Peter Mlynar didn’t exactly blow anybody’s socks off with his performance at the Olympics, finishing 57th in the sprint and helping the relay team to 12th, his age is to his advantage. At 22, with the limited quality and quantity of men on the Slovakian team, Mlynar was given starts last year to gain experience, and there is no reason to think, especially after posting a strong sprint result at Under-23 World Championships, that things will change this season. And Mlynar has been working on his sprinting!

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Kieran Jones

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