Last year’s teammates and SloEnduro series champions, Austrian Petra Bernhard and Slovenian Vid Peršak, won this year’s Enduro Kamplc in Ajdovščina, Slovenia, the opening round of the 2018 series.

130 riders from eight countries started on the dry course with some mud bogs and five special stages. According to the new SloEnduro series guidelines the course was a bit shorter than last year when the series ended here in October. It was just over 20km long with 1000 vertical meters of climbing. For comparison: last year’s race was about 10km and 300 elevation meters longer with two stages or 8 minutes more racing. After five and a half months from last year’s series final at the same venue it was the first enduro race for almost everybody.


Vid Peršak

The 21-year old Peršak who has been the fastest man in the series for the last three seasons and is now riding for a new Austrian team Sunbikers Mondraker Racing, won the race after some four hours in the saddle and a total of 17 minutes and 23 seconds of racing on the special stages. His advantage over second placed Austrian Gerd Skant (Team Radwelt MK - Factory Racing) was 12 seconds and 44 hundred. Last year’s second placed in the series and then still Vid’s teammate celebrated his 27th birthday on the day of the race. Third place went to Czech rider Premek Tejchman (Kellys Factory Team), last year’s number six. He was 15.62 behind Peršak.

Austrian Matthias Stonig and local rider Andrej Bratina (Kamplc Racing Team) finished in fourth and fifth place respectively.


Gerd Skant

Peršak won four out of five special stages including stage three, the Kenda SuperStage, and Bratina was fastest on second stage of the day.

Petra Bernhard remained undefeated all day. Another Austrian finished in second place, Yana Dobnig (RLM Mondraker Racing Team) was 45.79 behind. Slovenian rookie Maja Lobnik (Ganesha Team) was third but already with a gap of 4 minutes and 41 seconds.


Four ladies take off

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Stonig stood on men’s elite podium with Peršak and Skant since Tejchman moved to masters 1 category this year and won in this strong category in front of local rider Blaž Černigoj (Kamplc) and another Czech František Žilak.

Primož Štrancar (MBK SportR.si) defended his 2017 victory here with a 10th overall in front of Austrians Cri Maierhofer, last year’s overall champ, and Reinhard Mayrhofer (both Team Dorrong).



Austrian champion Max Fejer (Team Dorrong) was the fastest junior in front of Italian Davide De Sabbata (ASD Team Grazon) and Slovenian BMX racer Matic Berginc (Rajd Ljubljana) in only his second enduro race.

Andrej Markič (ŠKTD Avče) took the hobby class by less than four seconds over second placed David Filipović (Kamplc Racing Team), Jernej Oblak finished third.


Petra Bernhard

What the winners said

Vid Peršak: “My race went somehow according to my plans. I felt in control on my bike all the time even if I got my new bike only days ago. But most importantly, I came here well rested opposed to last year so I was able to focus on the race. Everything went well, maybe I missed parts where I would really be able to go flat out and test my bike. It’s a long time from my last race which happened to be right here but I trained well over winter so I knew I had a good chance of winning today.”

Petra Bernhard: “What a season start after this extremely long winter. The sun was shining all weekend, spring is just around the corner. The big starter field was motivated, I could feel it when I got into the paddock. Although it’s a very early date, but I was tired of the many hours indoors and ready to start, like all of us - right. With a big portion of fun and motivation I tried to compensate the few hours on the bike. I also have met my friends again for ages. I have already missed you a lot. That makes me smiling all day long. Together we trained on the brilliant trails that were almost perfectly shaped. Many thanks to the whole SloEnduro team. Altogether eight ladies were at the start, what a great pleasure. I'm really happy with my bike and my new team. I get great support. It was an almost perfect weekend for me. It can go on like this.”


Top five, from left: Skant, Peršak, Tejchman, Stonig and Bratina
 

Next in SloEnduro…

Enduro Krokar at Dobrna, Slovenia on May 6th will be the second round of this year’s SloEnduro series. The event moved up to the “big league” after three years in the easier SloEnduro 4Fun series so the SloEnduro family can hardly wait for what the Krokar (Raven) crew is preparing for this race. But before that there’s the classic Enduro 3 Camini race above Trieste, Italy on April 8th, round two of the 4Fun series.

www.sloenduro.com

Photos by Ma_Tej

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