Austrian Max Fejer (Team Dorrong) and Slovenian Tina Perše (Calcit Bike Team) are winners of this year’s enduro race on Krvavec. Men’s Slovenian National elite title surprisingly to Jan Markič (ŠKTD Avče) while junior Jakob Smolnikar (Energijateam.com) was the fastest Slovenian in 3rd overall!
Round three of this 2019 SloEnduro “major league” doubled as Slovenian National Championships and united four special stages in Bike park Krvavec, all held on Sunday. Trouble with the weather was not as big as last year’s winter conditions but it wasn’t exactly dry all weekend. The trails almost dried out during Saturday’s training but overnight rain made sure they remained slippery although not very muddy all Sunday long. SS3, also the Kenda SuperStage, was the trickiest one, and overall winners Perše and Fejer were the fastest in that one as well.
Local favourite Nejc Huth (Energijateam.com) won the first stage of the day from Fejer and another Austrian Max Trafella (Do-Biker Bruck/Mur). Smolnikar was fourth. But Huth damaged his derailleur in the second special stage and did not finish it. The 2018 SloEnduro junior vice-champion Fejer took over and won all the remaining stages.
Fejer finished the day with a total race time of 24 minutes and 28 seconds, 39 seconds faster than the second-placed Trafella. Smolnikar finished in third, 1:08 down on Fejer, and also won the junior category. It was Trafella’s and Smolnikar’s first time on the SloEnduro top 3 overall podium while Fejer already finished 3rd on Kamplc this year and 2nd at Black Hole Enduro. Fejer also took over the series lead from Peršak who missed the Krvavec race for EWS round in the USA.
Two more Austrians followed in 4th and 5th respectively: Peter Mihalkovits (Radwelt MK Factory Racing) and Peter Pingtzer, the Master 1 winner. Italian Riccardo Plesnicar (UC Caprivesi) finished 6th and former downhill racer and occasional SloEnduro rider Jan Markič 7th which earned him the national elite title.
Markič had Sebastjan Stres (Kamplc Racing Team) breathing down his neck, a Master 2 age category rider with an elite license who finished in 8th place and took National Championships silver. Austrian Tino Huber (Team Dorrong) was 9th and 2nd Master 1 and next Slovenian junior Aljaž Černigoj (Kamplc) rounded out the top 10, earning the Championships silver.
Tina Perše was followed by the 2018 SloEnduro champion and also the winner of both 2019 round, Austrian Yana Dobnig (Team Dorrong) who finished 1:44 behind, Slovenian Tjaša Rutar (Rajd Ljubljana) was third.
Martin Brus (Kamplc) won Master 3 category and Nejc Kalan (MTB klub Kranj) the hobby class. Furthermore, these men also became national champions in their categories: Jaka Tancik (Energijateam.com) in Master 1, Uroš Ogris (MTB klub Kranj) in Master 2 and Andraž Bradač (ŠKD Pank kura) in amateur category.
Kevin Klančič (KK Črn trn) won the short course race for U15 rider which included first two special stages. Aleks Pintar finished 2nd and Ian Laharnar (both Kamplc Racing Team) third.
Find full results as well as a photo gallery on sloenduro.comWhat the winners said
"The race was really fun but hard, super tricky to judge how fast you can go with these changing conditions all weekend and all the rocks and roots,” said Fejer who won the Austrian Championships last weekend in Graz. “All in all, I had a super clean race with just a few little mistakes. It was really hard to find that fine line between grip and out of control, but I feel like I managed that pretty well as the result shows too. I am now excited for the upcoming events!"
“It all went according to my plans today, without any mechanicals or crashes,” told Tina Perše, the former Olympic discipline rider, after her first major enduro win. “The weather held up and the trails were great. I’m happy to keep this victory in Slovenia but I’m especially happy that I was also fast in the technical parts, not just the pedaling.”
“This year’s Nationals were made for me - greasy trails with lots of physical effort,” said the fastest Slovenian Jakob Smolnikar who’s been combining gravity racing with cross-country all season long. “I felt good in first stage and kept it fun all the way to the end. I took it safe in the last two stages because I was worried about some parts but it all went well. I’m surprised with the result. Overall great atmosphere and great weather, can’t wait for the next race.”“CroEnduro”
SloEnduro series moves to Croatia: it continues on September 8 in Trnovica, Rijeka, with Trnduro held by BBK Team Rodeo; then it finishes with Enduro Grozni, Grožnjan, on October 13, put on by BBK Grožnjan.
Photos by Anže Petkovšek