Third weekend of July in Slovenia was reserved for Black Hole Enduro organised as part of SloEnduro series and also as a national championships. The event started on Friday evening in Ravne na Koroškem with a stunning prologue on the city stairs with finish in the center. Urban course suited best to Nejc Rutar and Tanja Žakelj (both Unior Tools Team) who both took a top spots before the main day on Saturday.
Next morning the entire event was moved outside the city, to mountainbike farm “Eko Hotel Kmetija Koroš”, well known to many riders around the world. Nice atmosphere was a key to a nice relaxed racing day on local trails which are fantastic. Four stages in the trail park brought us just a little less than 20minutes of racing.
In the mens competition Peter Mlinar (KK Črn Trn) managed to get back the seconds lost in the prologue already on the first stage. Later on he continued with good runs and his victory was not in question at any time. Nejc Rutar found out that the prologue win didn’t mean much, since he had to let go even the second place to Kristjan Medvešček (KK Črn Trn) and was forced to satisfy with third place at the end of the day. Last spots in top five went to local riders Robert Kordež and Nace Krivonog (both Orbea Geax).
In ladies competition an european XC champion and 2013 world cup winner, Tanja Žakelj was a favorite before the race. She managed to justify this status already on prologue, as well as on Saturdays race. She was the fastest girl allready on first stage with 11 seconds advantage over Ana Zupan (Energijateam.com). On second stage things got even more clear, since Ana was down and hardly could go on with a race, while Tina Rejc on third spot was allready more than a minute behind. Tanja managed to hold the lead till the end of the race, while Ana forced it with an injured shoulder to hold the second place and Tina finishing on third.
In juniors competition the main battle beetwen Jan Štucin (Pedal Racing) and Grega Žvan (Orbea Geax) ended allready on first stage, when Grega went down breaking his handlebar and was forced to leave the race. So it was a free run for Jan to his new victory and a national champion title. The nearest rival was his team mate Matjaž Istenič on second place, while Tomaž Šinigoj (KK Ravne) managed to finish on third spot on his first enduro race.
In masters category the fastest guy in the younger category was Robert Kordež (Orbea Geax) ahead of Jaka Tancik (Energijateam.com) and Sebastjan Stres (Kamplc Racing), while in the older category, above 40 years, the fastest guy was Janez Jamnik (Enduro) in front of Janez Golmajer (MTB Klub Kranj) and Martin Brus (Kamplc Racing).
On Sunday there was a special event for 25 best riders. They got to race a special underground stage in the old mines under mountain of Peca. First they had to spin the pedals 3500m away from sunlight to get to start of the stage with 620m distance and 90m negative altitude. Every rider did one test run and right after that another timed run. The best rider in the dark narrow tunnel was Nejc Huth (Energijateam.com) in front of Nejc Rutar (Unior Tools Team) and russian rider Misha Vasilenko (Specialized Russia).
SloEnduro series will continue with a race in Kamnik on 29th and 30th of September.
Words: Jaka Tancik | Pictures: SloEnduro