Last weekend’s iXS European Downhill Cup track gets another race this weekend, the Slovenian and Croatian series race with Monika Hrastnik and Jure Žabjek as favourites.
Three weeks after the series start on Lošinj Island in Croatia the Unior Downhill Cup continues this weekend, May 13th/14th, in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia. Last weekend the 2km track in Kranjska Gora bike park already hosted a race, the opening round of the iXS European Downhill Cup with over 300 riders from 28 countries. Now it’s time to fight for points of national series of Slovenia and Croatia. But this race always attracts an international field and it will be the same this year since it is also a UCI Class 2 race. Riders from Italy, Germany and Ukraine already registered.
It looks like Lošinj winner Markus Pekoll of Austria is not coming to Kranjska Gora so number one plate will go to Slovenian champion Jure Žabjek (Unior Tools Team). Jure won his first European Cup race on the same track last weekend. Another race on this technical track will be an excellent training for him before the races on the following weekends – European Cup, European Championships and World Cup. The same goes for Monika Hrastnik (Blackthorn), winner of Lošinj, who finished second last week.
Monika Hrastnik, photo Marko Obid
Monika might have an easier job than last weekend but the use of word “training” should not confuse you in connection with Jure. Even in national field he can only afford tiny mistakes to take the win. His closest challengers are other two Slovenian World Cup riders, teammate Žiga Pandur and Miran Vauh (Blackthorn) who already won in Kranjska Gora.
Attractive flying in middle part of Kranjska Gora track, photo by Klemen Humar
On Saturday May 13th the schedule starts with course walk and free practice, official practice follows from 2 to 6pm. On Sunday May 14th the semi-final run starts at 11am and the final run at 1.30pm.
Kranjska Gora has been hosting downhill races since 2004 and also hosted the European Championships in 2009. It has hosted a round of iXS European Downhill Cup for last three years.
In cover photo: Jure Žabjek, photo by Klemen Humar