Aukland, Hannson win Jizerská 50 World Loppet Race in Czech Republic

FasterSkierJanuary 17, 2008

The sunny weather, high number of participants, the world’s best skiers among them, the President and the Chairman of the Senate of the Czech Republic who started the race and handed the winners the prizes — these are just some of the memories of this year’s race, the most successful in its history.

Norway’s Aukland brothers turned the Jizerská 50 into a “family affair”. The elder, Anders, won convincingly in a time of 2:12:32. Jörgen finished third, 1:50.9 behind his winning brother.

Oskar Svärd of Sweden, a two-time winner of the event, took second with a time of 2:12:57.4 The Nordic countries domination of the most popular Czech long distance cross-country skiing event was evident with 13 Scandinavian racers finishing in the top fifteen.

Anders Aukland, a former Norweigan National team star, was at the front from the start. “The very fast beginning uphill took me by surprise,” Aukland confessed. “Svärd and I worked together at the front, but I got ahead from the 30th kilometer.” Frode Estil, an Olympic Medalist and World Champion was disappointed, finishing tenth. But skiing legend Björn Daehlie was not troubled at all in 53rd.

He skied the Jizerská 50 as a pleasant trip. “You have some beautiful views here,” the famous Norwegian racer said. “I soon realized that the pace was too fast for me. In addition, I had put a bit too much wax on my skis, so I decided to stay in the back and have fun.”

Stanislav Řezáč, the best Czech long distance cross-country skier and two-time Jizerská 50 winner could only watch the best racers sadly at the finish. He started but had to stop his attempt at the 18th kilometer. “I have not slept in two days, I have some intestinal viral disease and you know, you cannot battle the illness,” Řezáč said.

“There was no point ruining my health,” the Jablonec-based skier said. Viktor Novotný from Jeseník was the fastest Czech racer, finishing fifteenth.

Fischer/Craft racer Adam Swank was the top NOrth American skier, finishing 40th, +18:49.

Jenny Hannson of Sweden won the women’s race, with the former Junior World Champion Zuzana Kocumová (CZE) finishing fourth. She skied part of the race with Björn Daehlie. “You could see that he doesn’t practice any more, but he dug in two kilometers before the finish, and a man’s arms can do more than a woman’s after all,” Kocumová smiled.

Russian Tatiana Jambaeva was second, just under a minute behind Hannson. The ageless Hilde Pedersen of Norway was third +1:25. Sharon Crawford was the top NOrth American woman in 136th.

But Jizerská 50 is primarily a race for skiing enthusiasts. More than five thousand people participated in the three-day racing program.

The race’s ‘founding father’, Ladislav Míka who has participated in all races held to date, finished 753rd with a time of 3:33:10.3.

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