Classic member of Unior Tools Team from day one back in 2010, two time downhill national champion and a long time World Cup racer waves off.
Žiga Pandur, a member of Unior Tools Team, two time downhill national champion and the most successful Slovenian World Cup racer for years announced today that he is retiring from downhill racing.
Žiga, 26 today, joined Unior Tools Team with 18 years in 2010, the first year of the team. He was a member of Rajd before that, the club which founded UTT.
He’s been there a couple of times. Photo by Klemen Humar
Žiga has been wearing the Unior Tools Team blue since then. He wore it when he won national titles in 2012 and 2013. In 2013 he finished 25th in Hafjell and set new Slovenian milestone in World Cup. It was only beaten this year by his younger teammate Jure Žabjek.
Žiga’s 24th from Vallnord remains best Slovenian result in elite men at World Championshps.
His 2016 season was interrupted and pretty much ended with a crash in Fort William World Cup training. He broke his ribs and punctured his lung. 2017 Unior Downhill Cup final in Maribor in late September was his last race, he finished in second behind Žabjek.
Žiga’s last World Cup race, photo by Keith Valentine
This is how Žiga puts it:
“Time flies really fast! I vividly remember my first racing steps as they would happen just a few days ago, but actually that happened quite a few years ago, probably a decade ago. After 8 years of racing mountain bikes at the highest level I’ve decided to stop actively racing downhill. I am still passionate and motivated about mountain biking as when I started riding bikes, but over the time priorities had changed and I feel that now it’s perfect time to finish this chapter in life and start a new one. My racing career had lots of ups and downs, wins and bad races, but overall I had lots of great and unforgettable moments, I’ve met a lot of awesome people, travelled to a lot of beautiful places, learned a lot of new things and had ‘hell of a good time’ doing it.
I would first like to thank my parents for all their unconditional support, then to Tine, Grega and Rok for being behind me all the way from the beginning of my racing. I’ve been part of Unior Tools Team from start of my career and also from beginning of the team. It was a pleasure and great honor being part of it and to see how the team has grown over the years. Then also to all sponsors who believed in me and supported me through my racing career and also to all fans, without you guys, racing bikes wouldn’t be that much fun!
This is not a goodbye note, I’ll see you somewhere on the bike and eventually also on the races, but next time on the spectators side of the tape.”
Top photo by Klemen Humar
Photo by Klemen Humar