Illustrative photo – Preparation of the area of the Jizerská 50 ski race, February 8, 2023 in Bedřichov na Jabloneck.
Bedřichov (Jablonecko) – The record-breaking Jizera 50 will include defending champion Andreas Nygaard from Norway and Sweden's Ida Dahlová, as well as elite Czech cross-country skiers. Sunday's main race, starting at 8:30 a.m., will conclude the program that started in Bedřichov already on Thursday. Over nine thousand people will take part in the nine races, which is the most in history. The Jizera 50 with a capacity of 4,800 competitors is sold out.
Photogallery: Jizera 50 2023
primacy is defended by Nygaard and Dahlova” />
Nygaard has won in his last three starts in the Jizerské hory, in addition to last year's success, he also won in 2019 and 2020. The local track with the finish, which is reached after the downhill, suits him. “I'm the heaviest skier in the peak and that's an advantage. You go downhill and arrive in an egg. It's just gravity. And we have really good skis. Good skis and good form, that's the key,” he said in an interview published on YouTube by the organizers of the Ski Classics series.
On Sunday, Nygaard will try to end Sweden's Emil Persson's unbeaten streak in the current year of this long-distance series. Persson won the Jizera Fifty in 2021.
Forty-nine-year-old Stanislav Řezáč wants to fight for the position of the best Czech again. He would like to stay in the leading group at the end of the opening ten kilometer climb, which he has not been able to do in previous years. One of his biggest domestic competitors, Fabián Štoček, has similar plans. “I was not yet the best Czech on the Jizerské, that would mean a lot to me. The most demanding passage is the initial climb. There I always fell away from the leading group. The biggest challenge is to stay in the leading group over the hill,” said Štoček.< /p>
Last year's winner Dahlová should compete with, among others, the leader of the Ski Classics overall standings, Magni Smedasová. The 27-year-old Norwegian won the Marcialongo at the end of January. It will have its premiere at the Jizerské 50. “I've only seen the track on TV. I don't know exactly what to expect. I'm looking forward to it. I think I'll just watch the others and learn from them during the race,” she said.
In the foreground would be Štoček's colleague from the Vltava Fund Ski Team, Sandra Schützová, also liked to move. “I would like to be in the top six at the Jizerská,” said the skier who took 11th place at the Jizerská 50 last year. She was just behind the long-time Czech number one, Kateřina Smutna, who returned from sports “retirement” for this one race. Smutná is planning something similar this year as well.