In brilliant conditions with sun and nice tracks Andreas Nygaard, Team Ragde Eiendom and Britta Johannson Norgren, Lager 157 Ski Team won the 50 km long Jizerska Padesatka. Fort both athletes it was their second win in a row.
In the men's race, there was a big group of 23 skiers passing the first Climb point at Na Kneipe after 11 km, all within 20 seconds. Last year's winner Morten Eide Pedersen, Team Kaffebryggeriet was in the lead followed by Petter Eliassen and Andreas Nygaard from Team Ragde Eiendom.
Things really started to happen towards the second Climb when, as aspected, Morten Eide Pedersen, increased the speed. Only Team Ragde Eiendom quartet Petter Eliassen, Oskar Kardin, Andreas Nygaard and Tord Asle Gjerdalen could follow.
Eide Pedersen was first at the climb point Smutna Louka after 32 km followed by the four Team Ragde skiers. The group of five took turns in front when going down the long hill towards the finish.
With about 2 km before the finish, Oskar Kardin made a sharp increase in speed at got a small gap but Andreas Nygaard catched him and in the final stretch Nygaard was the fastest, capturing his second win in a row. Kardin got his first podium place this winter as second man over the finish line and Eliassen managed to get the third spot just before Eide Pedersen and Gjerdalen.
“This was, if not the best, at least one of my best days ever on skis. My skis were super fast and the body has felt good for a while now. I just felt like a million bucks”, said Nygaard after the victory and continues:
“The tactic in this race is usually pretty easy when you have Eliassen and Eide Pedersen on start. I know Eide Pedersen will go really, really hard on the second uphill. When he attacked it was just to try to hold his skis".
“It was really fun to be back at the podium. I have felt really strong in the races this season but I haven't had the punch at the end of the race until now. It feels nice tog recognize my body again", says the runner up Oskar Kardin.
The women's race started in really high speed right out from the start and soon Britta Johansson Norgren, Lager 157 Ski Team and Lina Korsgren, Team Ramudden, got a gap. At the first Climb point, they were almost a half-minute ahead of the chasing group.
Towards the second Climb, Johansson Norgren moved away from Korsgren and passed the checkpoint with a lead of 17 seconds. Emilie Fleten, Team Ragde Eiendom and Ida Dahl, Team Ramudden, was 46 seconds behind Johansson Norgren.
At the end of the race Fleten was really strong and caught Korsgren, heading for Johansson Norgren. But Johansson Norgren was strong enough to take her 21st Visma Ski Classics victory 43 seconds ahead of Fleten and 55 seconds before Korsgren.
“It was a really good day. Lina and I worked well together at the beginning of the race but the girls behind were going fast. I am really satisfied with my race. The last 15 km is hard. It was mentally tough and I struggled to go with the men. I was worried all the way that Fleten would catch me in the end”, said Johansson Norgren after the race.
"It was really fun to finally get to the podium. I was struggling from the start but in the end, I had amazing skis and I saw that Britta was not so far ahead of me. I was trying to catch her but I wasn't strong enough,” says Fleten.
Leaders in the Hertz Champion bib competition after Jizerska Padesatka is still Britta Johansson Norgren and Andreas Nygaard. Emil Persson, Lager 157 Ski Team and Ida Dahl, Team Ramudden keeps their lead the Youth competition. Morten Eide Pedersen and Britta Johansson Norgren both have big leads in the Climb competition. Max Novak and Johansson Norgren lead the Sprint competition.
In the Pro Team competition, Team Ragde Eiendom is now in the lead 55 points ahead of Lager 157 Ski Team. Team Koteng is third 85 points behind.
The next event in Season X is Vasaloppet, 90 km classic, in Sweden, on Mars 1, 2020.