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Unior Tools Team Preview 2018 DH World Cup Track, Croatia - Video

Apr 24, 2017
by uniortools  
Views: 5,635    Faves: 4    Comments: 0

Žiga Pandur's practice run on Downhill Lošinj, this is pretty much how the track will look like for 2018 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.

Pekoll takes the inaugural Unior Downhill Cup race on the short yet demanding track in front of Slovenians Jure Žabjek and Miran Vauh. Downhill racing season for Croatian and Slovenian riders as well as guests from six more countries started on Lošinj Island in Croatia this weekend. The fourth edition of Downhill Lošinj, a UCI Class 1 race hosted by AK Lošinj and MTB Trbovlje, was the inaugural round of the new Unior Downhill Cup series and the Croatian national series. And just as importantly, it was a dress rehearsal for the opening downhill round of the 2018 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup on April 21st and 22nd.

Downhill Lo inj with unior tools team

Markus Pekoll

Just like in Saturday’s semi-final, the 30-year old Austrian Markus Pekoll, member of MS Mondraker Team, was the fastest man on the 1.7km track with 256m elevation drop after improving his time by just over half a second. Slovenian riders followed in second and third; the reigning national champion Jure Žabjek (Unior Tools Team), number 22 of the UCI ranking right in front of Pekoll in 23rd, was 2.43 seconds behind and the three-time national champ, Miran Vauh (Blackthorn) 5.9 seconds behind the winner.

Downhill Lo inj with unior tools team

Men elite podium

British rider, Josh Lowe (Kona Europe) followed in 4th and another Austrian Boris Tetzlaff (RC WSV Schladming) in 5th place.

Monika Hrastnik (Blackthorn), the 2016 European Championships silver medalist, finished with quite a margin over second placed Špela Horvat (BK KKJ – WD40 Bike) and third placed Katarina Primožič (Batt Team), all Slovenians. Croatian, Ivan Bašić (BK TNT Pazin) celebrated a victory in junior men and British rider, Jamie Edmondson (Transition Bikes/FMD Factory Team) in under 17 men. Another Brit, Chris Sinden (Brink/Plush Suspension) was fastest in master category and Slovenian, Andreas Vidovič (Ganesha team) in sport. There were just under 150 riders on start in Saturday’s semi-final but the number went down for Sunday due to mechanicals and injuries. The track was not easy on either bikes or bodies. According to the best who did not want to take big risks a week before the World Cup opening in Lourdes, France, the track is well worth a World Cup race.

“I came here to start the season with a good result and I’m happy I did well. The track is demanding and dangerous, I was trying to find a smooth line and I think I found it. We have to get used to the finish on the street. It's challenging, there is no place to relax. In Lourdes, I’ll probably get asked a lot about the track here and I’m going there with a positive vibe.” - Markus Pekoll

Downhill Lo inj with unior tools team

“It was okay for the first race of the season, I’m happy my tires lasted. It was dangerous and I wasn’t risking much since I’m going to Lourdes. I did a minor mistake in my finish run and I’ve been avoiding the jumps all weekend.” - Monika Hrastnik

Downhill Lo inj with unior tools team

Can't complain about the view

"I had two flats in practice this morning so I didn’t manage to try out a new line I’ve just discovered. But I still went for it in my final run and it didn’t turn out so well. But it’s still okay, I’m close to Markus. It’s a short but demanding track, you need to work all the time, stay relaxed and carry your speed across the rocks.” - Jure Žabjek

Downhill Lo inj with unior tools team

Jure Zabjek over one of many jumps.

Downhill Lo inj with unior tools team

Downhill Lo inj with unior tools team

Finish area.

All photos by Klemen Humar

Unior Downhill Cup continues on May 13th and 14th in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia.
Full results


MENTIONS: @uniortools

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uniortools avatar

Member since May 26, 2014
19 articles

  • 36 3
 When downhill took such a wrong direction? PMB,now this...I want Champéry back !
  • 20 1
 An urban section? Really? WTF is going on here...
  • 3 0
 Check out the article on dirt mag. The track is actually quite rough.

  • 4 2
 Dear UCI why are you trying to destroy Downhill by selecting this track as an appropriate venue for a top level DH race?
Could you not just help fund a certain venues application to host the event each year, in order to bring the best possible and most challenging courses to the world cup circuit.
  • 2 1
 @digthehills: it is not only UCI, it´s red bull that makes live coverage and requests long open fast sections, that might be the reason why tracks had changed so much in past recent years
  • 1 0
 I think the track is cool, it´s varied and the last section Im sure can be a challenge if your racing
  • 1 0
 it has nothing to do with REDBULL resorts have to put bids in to become world cup venues and uci keeps raising the cost to hold a world cup so a lot of resorts are turning away from it due to the high costs
  • 23 1
 Bring back Champery, Schladming and Maribor!
  • 3 0
  • 2 0
 Schladming would be sooooo good
  • 22 1
 A road section? Get your razors out and shave those legs for the win!
  • 18 1
 Damn UCI, just put Schladming back in!
  • 8 1
 Looks like everyone is b*tching about that last section. Of course it could be better, but the WC is in 1 year and they now have all the time they need to change that and find something good.
I think the middle section is interesting, with a bit of line choice. And I think that those rocks will play a lot for the podium !
  • 7 0
 Here is the video comparison between Jure Zabjek (2nd) and Markus Pekoll (1st).
Track is short but intense. Line choice, precision, focus and speed carrying will be the main factor. Very similar to Windham...
  • 3 0
 All I could think about when watching this video was how much it reminded me of Windham. Ohh and how ridiculously fast Gwin will be here.......
  • 1 0
 @digthehills: Even when he flats from all those razor sharp rocks...haha
  • 7 1
 This has to be one of the at least interesting tracks out there. Im not going to say that its easy for the rider, but from viewers perspective its dead boring.
  • 7 0
 100% 29'er friendly though
seriously though if this is the future of UCI world cups then things NEED to change..............
  • 3 0
 When they announced new venue in Croatia , I was well surprised and keen to see the track . Now I seriously doubt about their decision . Some nice bits , but hardly not enough . urban part is really bad. Would be ok with some stairs and wallrides as usual at south american urban races , but this is just really bad..
  • 3 0
 Ok, the "off-road" bit had me thinking, "well, the mechanics are gonna be fixing a lot of punctures and wheels"... then it turned urban all of a sudden and i switched to "uhoh, the EMS folks are gonna have quite a bit to do..." Having my doubts if this can be considered WC worthy.
  • 6 0
 Yeah let's have them ride their bikes at Mach 10 on a track surrounded by stone walls, what could possibly go wrong?
  • 3 0
 I like how they put pads on the trees. But the stone walls? Yeah, they're totally harmless!
  • 5 0
 What was that shit??.. world cup track really?? Looks like a run down the local
  • 7 3
 its not very..... um.... Downhill..
Could just be the gopro effect but it looks like a 160/180 would do well there
  • 5 0
 seems so.especially the end is a joke
  • 5 0
 Disappointing to say that's a World Cup course!!
  • 1 0
 interesting course, but for a WC? ...this is something new but i dont know what i should think about this. we will see what it will be next year. UCI has to look for new tracks, what should they do if schladming etc not want to finance a worldcup...
  • 3 1
 Mid track seems interesting, but the track is definitely too short and flat.
  • 1 0
 Track looks good at beginning and mid section. Too bad Red Bull will place half their cameras covering the street sections...
  • 1 0
 Look at it this way. If you spread out the existing rock on this trail over 5km it would still be f*****ng rough. But yeah, the urban section has got to go.
  • 2 0
 And here is the video of epic jump case from this race.
  • 1 0
 i think he bottomed out his knees
  • 2 0
 Looks right for a 29er that.

*reaches for the popcorn*
  • 1 0
 the mid section looked good, rocky and taped wide. not keen on the road stuff at the end though.
  • 1 0
 start and finish is doo doo...middle looks a'ight...city DH meets world cup? not feeling it...
  • 6 4
  • 1 1
 that specialized barrier at the end speak for itself.. but I like this track.. something different
  • 3 2
 Absolute c#@t wankage!!!
  • 3 5
 Id run my hardtail down there

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