By Teemu Virtanen
The field is open in tomorrow’s Jizerska 50 as there are so many pro skiers under the weather and hence skipping the race, but nevertheless the race will be exciting and entertaining for TV viewers at home and spectators on location.
Morten Eide Pedersen, Team BN Bank, is the defending race champion and he is shooting for his fourth victory here in the Jizera Mountains. He feels confident and says that racing every weekend hasn’t taken the edge off his performance. He doesn’t really know why Jizerska 50 fits him so well, but he says that the race happens to take place around that time of the year when he tends to be in great shape.
“I’m ready to do what I always do here, which is try to win again. I feel great, and I’m not going to change the winning recipe here. I’m sure the pace will be high from the beginning, and I’ll try to break away on the second long hill about 20 km before the finish. But I’m sure Andreas Nygaard and Tord Asle Gjerdalen will follow no matter what I try, and my teammate Simen Østensen will be tough as well.”
Andreas Nygaard, Team Radge Eiendom, thanks his lucky stars that he got sick last weekend when Toblach-Cortina was canceled. He stayed home and prepared himself well for this weekend.
“I feel perfect now, and I’m ready for tomorrow. We all know that Morten will attack again on the second climb, but we just have to keep up with him and make sure he’s not going to leave us eating dust like he did last year. Back then, we even knew that he was going to do that, but we just couldn’t counter-attack. Now, we need to be stronger. Of course, the race tomorrow will be very different as there are so many skiers bedridden.”
In the women’s race, the yellow bib holder Britta Johansson Norgren, Lager 157 Ski Team, is the number one candidate for the highest place on the podium, but many are betting on Lina Korsgren who finished second in Marcialonga.
“I’m lucky to be here and to feel fine,” Johansson Norgen admits. “So many fell ill after Toblach-Cortina, and I’m sad that Astrid Øyre Slind is not here, but it won’t be an easy walk in the park for me. The first hill is long and I know we’ll go fast from the bang, and Lina and Katerina Smutná will be breathing down my neck.”
Lina Korsgren thinks that tomorrow’s race will present an interesting spectacle to anyone watching the race, and she is keen on repeating the sparkling wine action on the podium at the flower ceremony after the race.
“I feel great and I like the course. I was able to do König Ludwig Lauf in Germany last Sunday, and it was a great preparation for this. I was lucky since I didn’t spend that much time traveling and didn’t catch a cold like so many other skiers. I don’t know about my tactics, but I will keep my eyes open for any attacks and tactical maneuvers.”
Jizerska 50 starts at 8:45 am CET when the Visma Ski Classics pro women take off, and they are followed by the pro men at 9:00 am CET. Our live broadcast starts at 8:35 am CET. Be ready for some riveting battles on the course and join us tomorrow morning.