The Long Distance Ski Championship

Legendary wins in Jizerska!

Strong breakaways became the characteristics of this year’s Jizerska Padesatka, the 7th race in Visma Ski Classsics Season VIII. Morten Eide Pedersen, Team BN Bank, and Britta Johansson Norgren, Lager 157 Ski Team, both broke away from their rivals and skied away into victories while writing their names in history books. The former got his third victory in the race, and the latter became the first athlete to win six consecutive races in Visma Ski Classics.

Johansson Norgren and Kateriná Smutná, Bauer Ski Team, gave no chance to other women as they left everyone else eating their dust, or should we say snow, in the first hill. The two female skiers continued skiing together until the long uphill at the 30 km point where Britta made her move and escaped. Sara Lindborg, Team Serneke, managed to break away from the chasing group and finished third leaving Heli Heiskanen, Team Robinson Trainer, and Astrid Öyre Slind, Team Koteng, behind fighting for the fourth and fifth positions, respectively.

“I had amazing skis today,” the extremely happy winner Johansson Norgren declared at the finish. “I made my move when the men caught us up and I felt strong at that point. The last 10 km were very tough for me, and I heard some skiers closing in and I kept hoping that they were men catching up and not Kateriná. It feels unbelievable to have the unprecedented six wins in a row, and I hope that I can keep up my good shape until Vasaloppet. Of course, winning there last year helps a lot mentally.”

The men had a different race as there were 15 men in the lead group until the halfway point. Last year’s winner Pedersen had a clear tactic in mind; he wanted to push hard in the same hill, where Britta made her decisive move.

Three Team Santander skiers, Oskar Kardin, Andreas Nygaard and Tord Asle Gjerdalen, tried to follow him but without any success. They soon succumbed to their defeat and threw away team tactics and skied with the mentality of “every man for himself”. Kardin was the strongest in the final kilometer, and Nygaard beat the current yellow bib holder Gjerdalen in the final sprint.

“I had the same tactic as I had last year, and since Petter Eliassen wasn’t here, I knew it should work,” the confident winner Pedersen said. “I was concerned that the three chasing Santander guys could easily work together and try to catch me up. I just kept myself focused on the last kilometers and tried to save some energy for the last hills. This win means a lot to me and my team, and this is a great step toward success in Vasaloppet.”
Johansson Norgen was the fastest in the climb and sprint competitions as well while Pedersen took home the climb points. Kardin was the fastest man in the men’s sprint, but Anton Karlsson, Lager 157 Ski Team, is still in the lead. Kardin also leads the youth competition while Evelina Bångman, Team Mäenpää, has a safe lead in the respective category on the women’s side. Lager 157 Ski Team now has only a 10-point lead over Team Santander in the team competition.

The next race in the prestigious long distance ski tour is the legendary Vasaloppet, 90 km, on Sunday, March 4, 2018.

2nd Oskar Kardin (SWE), 1st Morten Eide Pedersen (NOR), 3rd Andreas Nygaard (NOR)

2nd Katerina Smutn (CZH) 1st Britta Johansson Norgren (SWE), 3rd Sara Lindborg (SWE)



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