Ninth and last round of the SloEnduro 4Fun series drew 201 riders from four countries. It is the largest number of participants at a 2019 SloEnduro 4Fun event. Only two “big league” events had more riders: Kamplc with one more and of course the Black Hole Enduro, a round of European EWS series.
With the list of pre-registered riders on Thursday night it was obvious that the Golovec trails Ljubljana is going to be an even much larger enduro party than last year’s first edition. The organizers from Golovec Trails club did their job and from 11 the riders started climbing to the start of the first of four special stages of the day. The trails on Ljubljana’s hill not far from downtown where locals and guests are enjoying the riding all year long and the crews are building and maintaining them, became race tracks. A different kind of challenge with spectators lining them on the widest sections.
From the streets of Rudnik on the East of the city, south of the hill, four times to the Golovec ridge and then back down, fighting the seconds. Three times on the classic trails, from right to left, then the fourth time on the new “Mayor’s” trail on the borders of Ljubljana municipality. In the end some rain surprised everyone but the dry soil under thick trees never got really wet.
There was some talk about the epic duel between two Slovenian champions of downhill and enduro racing: the local Jure Žabjek (Unior/Devinci Factory Racing) and Vid Peršak (Orbea Enduro Team). But Vid was still at the EWS final in Switzerland so the other 200 had to do play #catchjureifyoucan. With not much success though. Jure won all the stages even without risking much, playing on track with some crowd-pleasing moves. In the end Richard Maasarani finished closest, 21.07 down, repeating his 2018 second place. Nejc Huth (Energijateam.com) was third 24.06 behind. Jure’s older brother Anže (Golovec Trails, +30.57) finished fourth and Mitja Potočin (KD Hrastnik, +34.85) fifth.
Tina Perše (Calcit Bike Team) was the fastest woman and she has 11 rivals this time. Tamara Homar (Energijateam.com, +29.55) was closest in second place and Tjaša Rutar (Rajd Ljubljana, +46.29) was third. Irena Zupanec was the fastest in women’s 30+ category.
Jure competed in 19-24 category while Riči, Nejc and Anže occupied the podium in 25-29. Mitja won in next age group 30-34 and 6th placed Jakob Smolnikar (Energijateam.com) won the junior 16-18 category. Cri Maierhofer (Team Dorrong) in 14th overall won in 45-49, Nejc Kalan (MTB klub Kranj) in 19th overall won in 35-39, Miha Deu won in 40-44 and Martin Brus (Kamplc Racing Team) won in 50+.
The e-bike category has never been so exciting with 7 riders on the start list. Downhill racer Rudi Pintar (Sinter Brakes Team) won.
The under 15 category riders competed on first three stages of the day and in the end two of them tied for victory! The youngest were on different timing transponders which were only registering seconds so Val Celestina (KK Črn trn) and Rok Svete (Rajd Ljubljana) both ended up as winners. Miha Smrdel (MBK Črni Vrh) was third only 2 seconds behind.
Jure and Tina were also fastest on Kenda SuperStage, SS4, this time also supported by Trans Julius 4-day enduro race since the trail was built during their trailbuilding workshop.
See you on Golovec trails next year! In fact, see you before, since you can ride them any time if the conditions are not too mucky so you would be damaging the trails.
And of course, see you at the 2020 SloEnduro 4Fun events! There is just one stop left in the 2019 SloEnduro calendar, the “big league” final at Enduro Grozni in Grožnjan, Croatia, on October 13.
Photos by Anže Petkovšek @anzepetkovsek