Austrians fight their way to victories on slippery trails in Slovenia but Slovenian Tim Jež takes the series lead with second place.
Over a month after the opening race in Ajdovščina the SloEnduro series continued at Dobrna, Slovenia with the fourth edition of Enduro Krokar – the Raven Enduro.
20-year old Austrian Kevin Maderegger (Sunbikers Mondraker Enduro Racing) won the men’s race in front of 21-year old Slovenian Tim Jež (Kamplc Racing Team) in second and another Austrian Manuel Gruber in third place. Two more Slovenians rounded out the top five: Nejc Huth (Energijateam.com) finished fourth and Andrej Bratina (Kamplc) fifth.
In women’s race the victory also went to Austria with the experienced 37-year old Petra Bernhard who once again finished ahead of 19 years younger Yana Dobnig (RLM Mondraker Racing Team) in second. Another Austrian Ruth Kalthaus finished third.
Maderegger took the lead by winning second special stage of the day, the Kenda SuperStage, by over 9 seconds in front of Jež, then defended his lead with 2nd, 7th and 4th in the remaining stages. Jež won the first stage of the day while Gruber was making his way up from behind – with a high number 120 he had to pass riders on the first two stages and made his way to podium after 6th place in stage 1.
Maderegger won with the total time of 13 minutes, 20 seconds and 35 hundred with a gap of almost 11 seconds over Jež. Then second and fifth placed riders were separated by just over 7 seconds.
I women’s race Yana took the Kenda SuperStage and last stage of the day from Petra and finished 18 seconds behind her.
Petra who also won round one in Ajdovščina is firmly in the lead of the series while Tim Jež is the new leader in men’s standings! First round winner Vid Peršak who stood this round out is now tied in second with Bratina who finished 5th in both rounds.
Tim Jež is the new SloEnduro leader
Slovenian Jakob Smolnikar (Energijateam.com) was the fastest junior of the day in front of Italian Davide De Sabbata (ASD Team Granzon) and Slovenian Matic Berginc (Rajd Ljubljana). Blaž Černigoj (Kamplc) won the master 1 category from Austrians Bernd Dorrong (Team Dorrong Enduro) and Tino Huber (Radlager Mountainbikeverein) while Austrian Cri Maierhofer (Team Dorrong) took the master 2 from Slovenian Sebastjan Stres (Kamplc) and Slovak Petr Drabik (Cube). Slovenians Nace Krivonog (KK Ravne) and Matej Grnjak topped the hobby class results in front of Austrian David Gruber (Redneck Riders).
The riders faced five special stages with total climbing/descending elevation of just over 1000 meters. All trails remained slippery after Friday night’s rain.
What the fastest said
Kevin Maderegger: “It was my first race of the season and it was hard to get into the race mode. I struggled in first stage but then felt good in second. I made mistakes in 4th and 5th but in the end it was enough. It was good preparation for World Series race next week. Hopefully I can make it to the next SloEnduro races, the trails here are always good.
On new team, new bike and home EWS race in late June: “The team is very different, it’s four of us, we are of same age, friends, we train together and push each other. It’s fun. The bike is also totally different, it’s quiet and fast on open sections but still great for going around corners. I live in Salzburg, a 2 hour drive from Petzen but of course I’m excited about the EWS race there!”
Petra Bernhard: “I like racing in the mud, it was just a bit confusing with the similar trails. I crashed twice. I have too many races behind me, a downhill race in Maribor among them, and I feel a bit spent, powerless. But it was great to see friends here again. I’m super happy for Yana, she’s on fire, I’m proud of her. I’m an old chick on the bike. The young guns are coming, it’s nice and it’s time. We have Vali Hoell in downhill and Yana in enduro. It’s the next generation.”
Tim Jež: “I got close to top ten last year with an 11th and a 12th. I started this season at home in Ajdovščina with a 6th place, but I just started riding a week before after braking my leg. I hoped for a top five today but not for a second place. I made a number of mistakes, especially in stages 3 and 4, so it could have been even better. I’m leading now and hope to do my best in the remaining three races. I don’t know the trails in Ruše or Krvavec, I’ve only been to Grožnjan. I’ll also be happy if I can race the Kaernten EWS with a wildcard.”
Fastest five, from left: Huth, Jež, Maderegger, Gruber and Bratina
Krokar team members from Dobrna already held the Enduro Krokar three times as part of the easier SloEnduro 4Fun series but stepped up to the SloEnduro “big league” for the first time. About a hundred riders from 9 counties entered the event with just a few of top riders from the first round missing like numbers 1 and 2, Vid Peršak and Gerd Skant, who decided to concentrate on next week’s Enduro World Series event in France.
Next in SloEnduro…
Merjasec Enduro in Ruše, Slovenia, close to Maribor, will be the third round of the series on June 17th. It’s another event moving up from the 4Fun series. But before that two current 4Fun events will take place: the first Golovec Trails Enduro in Ljubljana on May 13th, followed by the first Poseka Enduro in Ravne na Koroškem on May 26th.
Photos by Ma_Tej/SloEnduro. In cover photo: Maderegger after passing teammate Schemmel in one of the stages.