54th CEZ Jizerska 50 will host professionals from Visma Ski Classics, non-professional skiers will compete in a virtual race


Organisers of CEZ Jizerska 50 have received a negative statement from the Czech Ministry of Health regarding the request for an exception for individual race starts. “Due to the continuing very serious epidemiological situation in the development of the covid-19 pandemic in the Czech Republic it is not possible to grant an exception to the organisation of amateur races,” reads the statement of the Ministry.

The only exception was given to the professional events because their participants are regularly tested. They will race in the Friday Benzina Orlen Sprint as part of CEZ Jizerska 50 and in the Sunday main 50K race in which they will collect points for the Visma Ski Classics series ranking. Because Jizerska 50 has been made one of the “Grand Classics”, the points gained will be 50% higher than in average races. “The elite race is part of the four most important races in the international series of cross-country skiing races, so it is an important international sport event,” says the Ministry of Health in the official statement explaining the exception. CEZ Jizerska 50 professional races are financed by partners, not from race fees.

It is mainly the participation of hobby skiers, i.e. amateurs, that make Jizerska 50 what it is. Organisers are aware of their disappointment at not having the race in the format they are familiar with. That’s why they’ve come up with the option of a virtual race for which all those who have managed to register for the 54th edition of the race are automatically signed up. It also opens the possibility to those who weren’t lucky and couldn’t register, but who can join now too. Race packages with a crystal medal, memorial medal, race bib and other gifts are ready to be sent to the racers at their address. We want to ask all registered skiers to check their address in their account to make sure the race package will reach them. This way, people from around the world can take part in Jizerska 50, anywhere at a specified time. There will also be a category for those who cannot set out on skis, but like to spend time being active in the open.

For the organisers of the 54th CEZ Jizerska 50 this is a big spoke in their wheel. They have had the race numbers, medals and most of the other things for the race already made. “And not just that, there is a team of several people including the secretariat who have been preparing the race for a year, we participate in financing the tracks as well as the artificial snow cover of the stadium and we arrange the communication of the whole event,” says Martin Koucký, the head of Ski klub Jizerská 50. It is clear now the organisers will not be able to do without the government’s help to be able to guarantee a continuation of the tradition of Jizerska 50 in the future.

At the moment, the organisers will wait for a negotiation with the NSA on the form and level of compensation. “Because preparation has gone so far, up until the Ministry of Health’s decision we had to have everything ready for the race, the negotiation with the state on the form and amount of compensation is an existential question for us. It is a critical situation. We believe the state will not leave amateur sport in the lurch and will provide help in this financially exhausting period. We would like to provide registered skiers a compensation in the form of a race fee discount for next year. At the moment we are financially in the red,” says David Douša in the name of the organisers.

The organisers are finalising the rules of the virtual race which will be part of the Worldloppet Virtual Racing League. Many races around the world have joined in. This year’s 54th CEZ Jizerska 50 will be open to anyone interested from around the world without the cost of expensive travel. The possible result could be that there might be a record number of participants in the virtual race just as last year saw the record numbers in Bedřichov.

The virtual format of the race will be open for registrations also to so-far unregistered participants. Detailed information will be published soon. Follow the web pages and CEZ Jizerska 50 social networks.

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