Unior Downhill Cup starts on slippery track at Javornik park, Slovenian titles also presented. Miran Vauh joins the G.O.A.T. on top of all-time list.
Unior Downhill Cup started in Bike park Javornik in Črni Vrh nad Idrijo in Western Slovenia. The Slovenian and Croatian National points series race also served as the 27th edition of Slovenian National Downhill Championships.
Miran Vauh (Črn trn/Blackthorn) was the fastest rider of the final run on the 2.5km, 375m drop track in front of his teammate Luka Berginc in second and Miha Ivančič (ŠKTD Avče) in third place. In women’s race Monika Hrastnik (Črn trn) took first, Špela Horvat (KK Jastrebarsko WD-40 Bike) second and Katarina Primožič (BATT Team) third place.
Žak Gomilšček (Rajd Ljubljana) was the fastest junior man and Marko Niemiz (Sinter Brakes Team) the fastest in under 17 category.
Gašper Jereb (Avče) won the men’s masters and his teammate men’s amateur class while Črtomir Svetec (Supersnurf) won the U15 boys category.
Team Črn trn/Blackthorn was the best team of the day at the race put on by DEŠ Fleš crew who just re-opened the popular Javornik park after it was closed last year.
Ninety riders from Croatia, France, Italy and Slovenia entered the race. After Friday’s rain the course remained slick all through the weekend. At least the showers hit the venue again just after Sunday afternoon’s award ceremony.
Miri on top of all-time best list
n the absence of the injured Jure Žabjek who won the National title in last three years the 36-year old Vauh was the only one going for his fourth title which would put him on the top of all-time best list together with Janez Grašič (1996, 1998-2000). He was second to Berginc in the semi-final but found ten more seconds in his final run after adding derailleur, cassette and chain to his borrowed bike… His bike is already on the way to Fort William for World Cup’s second round. Vauh already won the title in 2009, 2011 and 2014.
From left: Tomaž Oražem, Luka Berginc, Miran Vauh, Miha Ivančič and Matic Habjan
“I had to think before the final where to pedal. Then it was up to the track because it was a back-stabbing track,” Miri told. Just over a month ago he took his best World Cup result in Lošinj with 34th and is not ready to retire.
BATT Team’s Tomaž Oražem in 4th and Matic Habjan in 5th place rounded out the men’s top five.
Monika Hrastnik, the reigning European Champion, won her first National title right here in 2015 when she edged out Zarja Černilogar who was returning after an injury. She won her second one last year in Cerkno and is now third on the all-time list with Tanja Jerman (2001-2003). Zarja has five (2011-2014, 2016) and Reba Barlič six (2004-2007, 2009-2010).
Monika didn’t risk much just a week before the next World Cup race but was in a league of her own.
From left: Špela Horvat, Monika Hrastnik, Katarina Primožič and Naja Stipanič
“It was a hard race. The Champery section on top was almost impossible to ride. I’m happy I’m okay so I can travel to Scotland tomorrow,” says Monika.
Žak je sicer v konkurenci dirke za točke UCI s člani dosegel 11. čas, v mladinski konkurenci pa sta mu na stopničkah sledila Hrvat Noa Radolović (BK TNT Pazin) na drugem in Jakob Smolnikar (Energijateam.com), tekmovalec v olimpijskem krosu in enduru v svoji prvi dirki v spustu (na kolesu za enduro), na tretjem mestu. V konkurenci DP je šlo srebro seveda Smolnikarju, bron pa lanskem skupnem zmagovalcu serije Maticu Koklju (Wolf Racing Team), najhitrejšem v letniku 2000, ki pa se bo jeseni od te kategorije poslovil brez naslova prvaka, saj mu ga je lani odnesel leto dni starejši Rudi Pintar.
Naj se Žaka hitrost drži do tretje dirke svetovnega pokala v Leogangu čez dva tedna, ko se bo prvič poskusil v konkurenci najhitrejših mladincev na svetu, in v nadaljevanju sezone. Tako se morda približa članstvu v Sinter Brakes Teamu, mladinski razvojni ekipi KD Rajd, ki v tej kategoriji letos nima predstavnika. Je bil pa njihov čudežni deček Niemiz za zmago med mlajšimi mladinci za štiri sekunde hitrejši od Gomilščka in za več kot 15 od najbližjih tekmecev – drugouvrščenega Naceta Koklja (Wolf Racing Team) in tretjega Žana Pirša (Sinter Brakes Team).
Next in UDC series…
Unior Downhill Cup continues on July 28th and 29th in Bike park Cerkno. By then the best will have competed in four World Cup races as well as the iXS European Downhill Cup second round on June 16th and 17th in Kranjska Gora.
All photos by Klemen Humar