New stage at Enduro Grozni Grožnjan this weekend. 179 registered, some big names included. Practice and prologue on Saturday, 5 stages on Sunday.
In their minds, enduro racers from Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Slovenia and beyond are already at the venue where they ended the 2016 SloEnduro season – in Grožnjan in the hills of Istria, Croatia.
Enduro Grozni Grožnjan, held by BBK Grožnjan, has hosted the final of the series for the past three years. This time it will open the series as the first on six events. This is also the kick-off for the Croatian CROEnd series which unites five events.
The pittoresque setting will see the prologue in Grožnjan on Saturday evening and five special stages in its surroundings on Sunday.
Stage three named Get, starting from Sv. Juraj hill, is almost completely new. It shares the start with the stage Sv. Juraj, introduced last year, again the opening this year and also the Kenda SuperStage. Both stages, positioned to the East of the ridge, are big on views of the surrounding hills, the Mirna river valley as well as the sea.
Between the two the classic stage Kalčini will serve as second stage of the day. Coming as fourth will be the Šaltarija in the west and as last as usual the Grožnjan stage through the town.
The oldest stage Pertići is sitting out this year.
The special stages and transfers will add together for 37 km of riding and some 1350 vertical meters of climbing.
And the competition…
As it is only fit for the start of the season, the field will be wide and strong. From the top of 2016 SloEnduro the top riders will be attendind: the champion and last year’s Enduro Grozni winner Slovenian Vid Peršak, the rival for the title and now his teammate on the new Team Dorrong, the Austrian Gerd Skant, and the third overall, the Slovenian champion Tadej Razpet (Pedal Racing Team). Plus the 2016 opening race Enduro 3 Camini winner Daniel Schemmel (Aut, Cube Action Team), the Czech star Michal Prokop (Ghost Factory Racing), the fast Polish veteran Marcin Motyka (Enduro 24) and a number of fast Austrian and Italian riders.
In women’s race look for last year’s winner in Grožnjan Petra Bernhard (Aut, Team Dorrong), Giulia Albanese (Ita, UC Caprivesi), Ana Zupan (Slo, Energijateam.com) and Croatian marathon champion Gorana Težak (Adrenalina MTB Team).
179 riders from 9 countries pre-registered for the race.
On Saturday the prologue starts at 7pm. On Sunday the first rider takes off from the race base at the town square at 10am and they should all be back soon after 4pm.
The race in Grožnjan is very spectator friendly, they can move from one stage to the other on the Parenzana railway road and even meet their favourite riders there while in transfer. The last stage of the day is even passing a caffe, it will be a sunny day, so it will be a great weekend or day trip to Grožnjan.