SloEnduro, the international mountain bike enduro series, ended its 2016 season just under half a year ago right where the 2017 season started this past weekend. In Grožnjan in Istria, Croatia, where the home club of BBK Grožnjan is holding their Enduro Grozni race. This year a record number of 168 riders from nine countries showed up.

 

After a short street prologue on Saturday night and Sunday's five special stages on the 40km course with 1350 vertical meters of climbing and descending the same names ended on top as last October: Austrian gravity queen Petra Bernhard and Slovenian youngster Vid Peršak, now teammates on the new Austrian Team Dorrong. Petra, a former World Cup downhiller, just started racing enduro last year and now repeated her Grožnjan win while Vid took his third in a row.

 

They were both also fastest in the first stage, the Kenda Superstage, valid for special season ranking.



Petra Bernhard

Petra edged out Croatian marathon champion Gorana Težak (Adrenalina MTB Team) who finished second and Italian Giulia Albanese (UC Caprivesi) in third place.

 

Vid's closest rival was hi last year's overall title threat, Austrian Gerd Skant, now also his teammate. Gerd ended up almost 23 seconds behind so it was a convincing win for Vid. Another Austrian Manuel Gruber (URC Bikestore.cc), still a World Cup downhill racer last year, finished third 32,5 seconds back. It was only his third enduro race after last year's Garda festival and Leogang National Championships race and this year he is just trying to ride and race whatever he feels like, he says.



Gerd Skant

Winners said:

“I wasn't taking too many risks and I had consistent runs in all the stages,” Vid told after taking vistory. “The trails were perfect and they didn't seem to dangerous. It's a great start of the season for me and the team is happy as well.”

 

“It was super fast and I was a bit nervous in the first stage since it was the first race of the season, but then I managed to put more flow into my runs. I'll be at all SloEnduro races this season,” said Petra, an overall title contender. Last year's SloEnduro champion Yana Dobnig missed the race for her prom.

 

Categories

Czech legend Michal Prokop (Ghost Factory Racing), winner of prologue and 7th overall, won masters 1 category from Polish rider Marcin Motyka (Enduro 24) and Slovenian Sebastjan Stres (Kamplc). In masters 2 Slovak Peter Drabik beat Slovenian Robert Kordež (Black Hole Enduro Team) and Austrian Cri Maierhofer (Team Dorrong). Austrian Philipp Freudenberg (Radlager) was the fastest junior man in front of Croatian Ivan Bašić (BK TNT Pazin) and Italian Davide De Sabatto (ASD Team Granzon).



Michal Prokop, prologue winner

The five special stages, one new and four known ones, were dry and fast. Stage two was interrupted for injury of Slovenian Maks Trobec, first information reports of broken leg after he ran into a tree.

 

Second event of 2017 SloEnduro will be the Trieste classic of Enduro 3 Camini on April 30th on the new location in Basovizza.

 

Overall results

Stages results


Also see
Enduro Grozni Grožnjan: Video
Grožnjan final provides SloEnduro 2016 series champions

Vid Peršak in cover photo. All photos by Matej Damijanić who is uploading more galleries to his facebook page.

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