Vid Peršak takes his 6th national title on the dusty trails of Bike park Kope, Tina Smrdel fastest in women’s race. Both defend the honour of Slovenian Open National Championships and EWS Qualifier from Austrian attack.

After four special stages, about 1000 elevation meters and around 11 minutes »net« race time Vid Peršak (Orbea Fox Enduro Team) finished 16 seconds up on Austrians Max Fejer (Team Dorrong), the 2019 SloEnduro champion, in second place, and 21 seconds on third placed Matthias Stonig (Scott Sports).

Another Austrian Stefan Mauser (Suspensionlab) finished fourth, followed by Nationals silver medallist Jan Štucin (Pedal Racing Team). You need to scroll down to 8th overall on the long course to find the bronze medallist Enej Podlipnik (Bikehanic – 20 Chocolate), a first year elite rider. In between Štucin and Podmiljšak there was another Austrian Gerd Skant (Bikeclub Giant Stattegg) in 6th and the surprise junior winner and champion Miha Jerkič (KK Črn trn) in 7th place.

Jan Markič (ŠKTD Avče) in 9th and Jakob Smolnikar (MBK Črni Vrh) in 10th rounded out the top ten on the result list of 82 male finishers on the long course.

Women’s race was exciting, Austrian Sarah Gamsjäger took off faster by winning first and third stage. Slovenian junior Tina Smrdel managed to take the win in second stage by half a second. But Gamsjäger crashed on the final stage and gave the win away to Smrdel. Another Austrian Alexandra Eckert finished third. Tamara Homar ( took the National Championships silver and Maja Vojska (MBK Črni Vrh) the bronze.

Kope, the summer oasis

What to choose during the heat wave? Home, seaside or the mountain freshness of Pohorje range at Kope? 170 riders from eight countries chose the latter. Kope with its Bike park trails (and beyond) and the accommodation were an excellent choice for the National Championships race after two years of hosting a SloEnduro 4Fun series race and a one year break.

Surprisingly all the former men’s elite champions except one turned up in the elite category. The first champion from 2013 Kristjan Medvešček (this time for Avče team) entered his first race after 2016 and missed the overall top 10 by just one spot!

This is how it went for the win

Vid Peršak is on the roll before the EWS races in North America. He won the first three stages, the first one by over 10 seconds. The Austrians pushed on and Stonig, Fejer and Mauser changed in second place on stages before Fejer set the fastest time on the last stage of the day.

Sarah Gamsjäger and Vid Peršak also won the Kenda SuperStage, the second stage of the day on the freshly set Foxy / DH Line.

The long course categories

So Miha Jerkič, the fastest junior on the long course in 7th, took his first SloEnduro junior win as well as the title. He finished in front of the favourite and 2021 SloEnduro champion Miha Smrdel (MBK Črni Vrh) who raced with a wrist injury. Nationals silver for Smrdel and bronze for Jan Polovšak (KK Ravne).

Blaž Černigoj (Kamplc racing team) from master 1 was the fastest master rider. Austrian Cri Maierhofer (Team Dorrong) won in master 2 from Primož Štrancar (Orbea Fox Enduro Team) who walked away in National Champion jersey. Martin Brus (Kamplc) won in master 3. Žiga Šemrov (ŠKD Super potencial) won the amateur category.

The short course

Ažbe Kalinšek (Bikehanic – 20 Chocolate) from U15 category was once again the fastest on the short course (stages 1 + 2). His rival Matija Ferjančič (Kamplc), they were in the lead together after 5 races, crashed and didn’t finished the race. Kalinšek’s teammate Max Žvegla finished second and Ian Laharnar (Kamplc) third.

For his fourth win in a row, the U17 category winner Jakob Lorber (KK Završnica) was exactly 1 second slower than the U15 winner. Jakob is the new National Champion in the youngest official category of the Championships. Patrik Trošt (Kamplc) took the silver and Lovro Kojzek (Ravne) the bronze medal. In between them two international riders finished the »open« race: Romanian Arthur Hathazi (Bikepoint Racing) in second and Swiss Severin Zingg (RV Ersigen) in fourth place.

Nežka Libnik (Bosch Black Hole Enduro Team), an U15 girl, was the fastest woman on the long course in front of Ana Inkret (Calcit) and U17 winner Lucija Mlinar (Ravne).

Jakob Praček (Kamplc) and Eva Podvornik (DGK Pohorje – Spank team) won the shortest U13 race (stages 3 + 4).

All results here

Only final in Ajdovščina left

Time for a short break, then get ready for the grand finals of the tenth SloEnduro series season: SloEnduro Kamplc in Ajdovščina, Slovenia, on August 27/28.

We will witness a battle for the title and third place in men’s overall category. Both Miha Smrdel and series leader David Ivartnik finished lower in the field than usual, both with wrist injuries: Smrdel in 12th, Ivartnik in 20th place. But their followers Jan Štucin and Jan Markič did well.

Ivartnik in first and Smrdel in second are separated by 150 points. To defend his title Smrdel needs to win with Ivartnik finishing third or lower. They should both have their wrists healed by then. Štucin and Markič will probably just have a duel for third left even if they are not far behind, but they are just 30 points apart.

Tina Smrdel already secured her first title and her brother Miha should not have a problem to keep hold of it in junior men. Lorber also secured the title in U17 and Kalinšek in U15.

Here is the SloEnduro ranking before the final

Propositions and registration for SloEnduro Kamplc to follow here soon.


Photo by Marko Obid @b23mtb