Esther Bottomley joins Italian Pro Team, finishes 16th in 45km Jizerska.

The start of the Jizerska 50

Esther Bottomley spent last weekend in Bedrichov in the Czech Republic preparing for and racing in the Jezerska 50. This 50km classic race is the Czech World Loppet ski marathon and part of Swix Ski Classics series. Esther finished in 16th place and was supported by her new Italian Pro Team, Team Xcalibur LillSport.

Esther Bottomley (third on the right) with Team Xcalibur LillSport


“The day before the race it poured with rain,” commented Esther to AusXC, “so they had to shorten the course by 5km because the pools of water washed the snow away. It froze overnight, so there was about 15km of the biggest ‘death cookies’ I’ve ever skied over, it was interesting trying to classic on that.

The waxing support provided was fantastic unfortunately I made the wrong choice when choosing skis picking a pair with not enough structure so when the snow started to soften at 15km they were terrible. I had no chance of staying with the girl in front on the downs in her slip stream.

The race itself was good and a lot of fun. I suffered a bit after 30km, I just haven’t done enough long training with the injuries (both elbow and then knee) I’ve had for the past several months. I felt good up till there, survived till the end and was happy to finish my first ever classic marathon!”

At the start of the season Esther was picked up by the Italian Pro Team Xcalibur LillSport. This professional team focuses on ski marathon races and in particular the Swix Ski Classics.

“It was really fun being part of this team and doing something different. It was great travelling with a team made up of Italians, Swiss and one Czech. Leading into the race on the weekend we stayed in a house and ate fantastic Italian meals. It has been great to do something different this year and I really enjoyed the experiece.”

Esther’s aim for the season in relation to the Team Xcalibur LillSport is to race the Konig Ludwig Lauf in Germany and the Vasaloppet in Sweden. She had also planned to race the La Diagonella in St Moritz next weekend but will need to see how her elbow pulls up from the Jizerska.

For information and news from Team Xcalibur LillSport visit their facebook page


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