Great Bieg Piastow today: "I will come back here!"

Justyna Kowalczyk, world and olympic champion, enjoyed winning today's Bieg Piastow.

Contributed byBieg Piastow

Kowalczyk, 4-times World Cup Winner, Olimpic and World Champion, called The Queen of Polish Skis, today started the biggest polish cross country skiing race, the Bieg Piastow, for the first time. And she found amazing conditions at Szklarska Poreba Jakuszyce.

Four Czechs winning today's Bieg Piastow

The weather in the moring of the Polish Worldloppet race today was amazing: - 2 degrees Celsius, no wind, raising sun. It was getting warmer hour by hour and at 1 pm it was already 10 degrees. Perfect for the thousands of popular skiers, but for the elite skiers the snow was very slow and the course very tough.

The fight for the day's best time and the men's podium was between four Czech racers. Only on the last meters Pavel Ondrasek turned out to be the fastest. Jakub Psenicka and Jiri Haruba finished right behind him, second and third. 

Kowalczyk dominating women's competition

Justyna Kowalczyk finished the 50 km race in classic technique at the sixth place overall. She was supported by hundreds of very emotional fans along the course. Only 5 minutes she lost to the best men, but her advantage to second placed woman, Karolina Grohova (Czech Republic), was 11 minutes. As third female Zuzana Kocumowa arrived the finish 14 minutes behind Justyna Kowalczyk.

"This start at the biggest Polish marathon race was very important and serious for me", announced Kowalczyk.  "My goal was to finish the race among the first 10 in the overall, so achieved it. I definitely would come here back again!", she added. 

In total 1400 racers from 26 countries started the long distance of 50 km - Worldloppet gold race. Tomorow the short races of 25 and 16 km are standing on the program.


pictures (c): Marcin Olivia Soto

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