Friday mornings at the Jizerská 50 are traditionally reserved for little skiers. Mini Jizerská Pojišťovny VZP was sold out and the starting line was full to the brim with over 400 young competitors. World champions and Olympic medalists set off in the trails of the T-Mobile Company Relay. The highlight of the day was the ORLEN Benzina Sprint with the world's elite skiers. The event was officially opened with the evening monument tribute.
Children's races have a long tradition at the Jizerská 50 and are becoming increasingly popular. "We are very happy that skiers filled up the capacity for children's races but also that other young cross-country skiers set off on routes for adults such as the ČT Jizerská 10. About 1,100 young cross-country skiers are taking part in our races which means more potential enthusiasts of this sport in the future," the leading organizer David Douša said before the race on Tuesday in the ČT Sport studio. 417 young enthusiasts registered for the races.
The afternoon T-Mobile Jizerská Company Relay was a spectacle for true ski connoisseurs and a clash of ski generations. The biathlon star Gabriela Soukalová that ended her career not too long ago competed along with her mother. Just like last year, the world champion in 50 km freestyle Martin Koukal once again didn’t fail to participate. The best Czech cross-country skier of all time, Kateřina Neumannová, took on the race with her 19-year-old daughter Lucie. Simply all the best Czech winter sports athletes gathered at the relay.
One of the most experienced relay teams was represented by women. Together with Gabriela Soukalová's mother, Blanka Paulů and Květa Jeriová-Pecková set out on the trail, completing the reunion of the 1984 Sarajevo Olympic silver-awarded relay team.
After that, the real cross-country fun started. Front runners of the main Jizerská 50 km race stepped in the trails along with ski sprint specialists. The CZK 100,000 prize went to Alvar Myhlback from Sweden for the men’s race and Magni Smedaas from Norway for the women. The first 6 men and 6 women shared a total prize pool of CZK 400,000.
After the sprint, the competitors and spectators gathered together at the local monument where the grand opening took place along with the tribute to the deceased 1970 Peru expedition climbers. Historical skiers in vintage costumes were the last to walk in the stadium trails: "The Norwegians have nothing on us, the Swedes have nothing on us, this is how our skiers do it," praised the tradition Adam Nedvídek, the host at the stadium.
The evening ended with program in Jablonec nad Nisou where singer-songwriter Pokáč sang as part of the first ČEZ Energy fest. Saturday will primarily belong to non-professionals who are waiting for the popular Jizerská 25 and the family-friendly ČT Jizerská 10. The latter race is open for all beginner skiers and is increasingly popular among individuals but also among families with children.
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