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Report: The Blast – Epic Enduro Weekend #4 – Koroska, Slovenia

It’s Thursday afternoon as we drive up to the accommodation of The Blast #4. With just forest and gravel roads around you get the feeling of being hopelessly lost. Just as you want to reach for your cellphone to double check, you see the sign to the Tourism farm.

Mandil on his way down – All the way from Nepal, he stopped by various events like Passportes, Crankworks and The Blast!

Mandil on his way down – All the way from Nepal, he stopped by various events like Passportes, Crankworks and The Blast!

Friday kicked off with a downhill to the valley floor. Nothing beats a 15 minute singletrack run right after breakfast, followed by a transfer to the next peak.
uplift1

Not only was there a lot of fun riding to be done but also some good times with friends

 

After the uplift, there was still a good 2 hours of riding to be done in order to reach the start of SP1. A nice mix of singletracks and fire roads took us there, with some breathtaking views along the way.

breath taking views

Some astounding views in Slovenia!

  The first special was short and spicy! A narrow singletrack right on top of a ridge kept everyone focussed, the small climbs made the legs burn!
plank

Gabby ‘Plank’ Krens pinning it on SP1

With lactic acid still burning in the legs and lungs, it was time to climb to the lunch spot for some local food. Salad, sausages and home baked bread refueled the batteries for SP2.
lunch

Nom nom nom o clock!

With the stomachs filled, it was off to SP2! Like a group of excited puppies we stormed down the trail, until Ronny temporarily disappeared in a cloud of dust. He was already back on his feet by the time the dust has cleared, he was definitely ready to ride! We approaced SP2 and the whole group was ready. Each taking their time to appreciate the track. The second timed stage was a long one, blasting down a gully with the odd drop off lurking around the corner. The past six weeks have seen virtually no rain in this region, making the trails dry loose and dusty!
scraper-drop

Austrian rider Martin ‘Scraper’ Erlmoser dropping in at the gully.

  With all riders down and the 31 punctures fixed it was time for a cool surprise! Headlamps were handed out, and we were off for a 1 hour tour through the old mine tunnels! The mountain is not only covered with trails,  but also about 1000km of tunnels! It definitely sounded like fun.
underground1

With 10 degrees Celsius, this is definitely a cool ride!

  After playing in the tunnel for a good hour, it was time to head back up to the farm for dinner and drinks! This was the night the Slovenian Bike Festival really kicked off, with a Prologue for the Enduro race the next day in the town center. Of course we went down to check out the riders and concerts. Towns are small here, so everyone comes out for an event like this!
jarnorace

Relieved of his normal timing duties, The Blast organizer Jarno could join in the riding and racing fun!

    Saturday’s program was a little different from a ‘normal’ Blast weekend. As this was the race day for the Slovenian National Enduro cup, the riders for The Blast joined them on the race course! With 4 specials and a good 1200m of climbing, it was a tough day in the 35 degree heat. The racing was all located near the Blast accommodation, and in the evening everyone enjoyed the amazing sunset.
sunset1

A phenomenal sunset that everyone could enjoy!

Before everyone knew it, it was already Sunday! Bags needed to be packed and airplanes were not to be missed, but first another sweet ride to finish it off and to determine the fastest Blaster of the weekend! So far it has been a tight battle between Mandil, Martin and Lee with only a few seconds between the three of them. So far Lee was in the lead (or Lee’d) and he got to wear the famous leaders mustache!
spottherider1

Spot the riders!

Mandil aka ‘Swampthing’ was pushing hard, but couldn’t catch up with Martin and Lee in the end. Lee kept it clean, and took home the win! Martin came in as close second only 17 seconds slower over more then 30 minutes of racing! Mandil took 34 minutes and 42 seconds to ride all the stages, and came in a great third spot!
podium

Lee, Martin and Mandil celebrating their participation the 4th Blast!

Watch the awesome video of the amazing weekend here, made by Lars Veenstra. The Blast – Epic Enduro Weekend #4 – Koroska, Slovenia from Ride with the locals on Vimeo.            More info on: 
  1. ridewiththelocals.com/theblast
  2. facebook.com/ridewiththelocals
 

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