Every year, cyclocross expands its borders and becomes a more international sport. Slovenia, a country along the Adriatic Sea, is a country of just over two million people but just this past weekend, it held its third-ever cyclocross national championships.

In some ways, the Championships was a lens into American cyclocross from many years ago, with mountain bikes featuring prominently, and women’s titles non existent. Yet in some ways it was also very modern, with live streaming video with multiple cameras, and rules that disqualified or relegated racers based on bike exchanges and mountain bikes. Lenart Šmid gives us a lens into cyclocross racing in Slovenia with the following Nationals report.

Two Were Faster, but the Third is the Champion

by Lenart Šmid

This past Saturday by the city of Novo Mesto, near the Trška Gora settlement, the third Slovenian National Cyclocross Championships were held on a foggy afternoon.

Organizers (JB Center, Adria Mobil cycling team and Fit club) created a two kilometer-long course that featured a mix of gravel road, forest path and grass that eventually changed into mud.

At the start, there were 45 riders spread over two categories, Elite and Masters. Riders could ride mountain bikes, but in the end, they would only count for “winter league” standings, where mountain bikes were allowed.

Peter Zupančič (Calcit) leads David Per (Adria Mobil - #9), Primož Obal (#20) and ex-Slovenian Champion Gregor Sikošek (JB Team - #31) on the run-up at the 2016 Slovenia Cyclocross National Championship. ©

Peter Zupančič (Calcit) leads David Per (Adria Mobil – #9), Primož Obal (#20) and ex-Slovenian Champion Gregor Sikošek (JB Team – #31) on the run-up at the 2016 Slovenia Cyclocross National Championship. ©

After the start, a group of four riders made a small gap in front of the others. In the group, there was defending Slovenian champ Gregor Sikošek, Primož Obal, Peter Zupančič and David Per. Conditions deteriorated throughout the race, turning pristine grass into a sloppy, slippery mess.

The course featured long, muddy run-ups, stair-laden climbs and traditional barriers, with a good crowd on hand to cheer on the riders.

Sikošek crashed twice and broke his bike (drivetrain), and wasn’t able to finish the race at all.

The fastest at the finish was Primož Obal, but he was disqualified because of a forbidden bike change with another rider.

Second at the finish was Peter Zupančič, who made a similar mistake, swapping to a mountain bike during the race. He was placed in the winter league standing.

In the end, Vladimir Kerkez was declared to be the winner. Croatian rider Bruno Radotić was in second place and the third was Jernej Stibilj.

In collaboration with and Cycling24/7, the National Championships was the first multi-cam Livestream at cyclocross race in Slovenia. You can rewatch the racing here:

2016 Slovenian national cyclocross championship results below, with more photos here.

2016 Slovenia Cyclocross National Championships - Elite Men

15Peter ZUPAN?I?21CALCIT BIKE TEAM80:57:07-ostali
2117Vlado KERKEZ33KD ŠEN?UR80:59:00+1:53.30CX
329Bruno RADOTI?34BK PULS ?AKOVEC81:00:24+3:17.12CX
4223Jernej STIBILJ36PICIBICI81:02:47+5:40.38CX
5332Marko PAVLI?24CYCLING ACADEMY81:02:57+5:50.57CX
69David PER22ADRIA MOBIL (ADR)81:03:26+6:19.68ostali
714Jon BOZIC21ADRIA MOBIL (ADR)81:08:26+11:19.23ostali
147Jure BitencKD ŠEN?UR70:55:41-1 krogostali
913Matej DRINOVEC26ADRIA MOBIL (ADR)70:55:46-1 krogostali
10412Gašper KATRAŠNIK22ADRIA MOBIL (ADR)70:56:02-1 krogCX
1115Matic PLAZNIK27KD BRDA DOBROVO70:58:24-1 krogostali
1210Gorazd PER20ADRIA MOBIL (ADR)70:59:35-1 krogostali
13522Jan T. ?ERNICPICIBICI71:02:24-1 krogCX
14628Mitja BANDEL32PICIBICI71:03:08-1 krogCX
1571Matic OMAN30KD ŠEN?UR71:05:42-1 krogCX
16150Marko Poto?ar71:06:00-1 krogostali
17824Marko ŠAJNPICIBICI60:55:28-2 krogCX
1893Blaž MIKLI?OSM FILMS60:55:41-2 krogCX
191026Uroš JAKŠA36PICIBICI60:57:16-2 krogCX
208Matej HORVAT19KK ADRIA MOBIL61:02:57-2 krogostali
21132Jože Župan?i?61:03:04-2 krogostali
22112Primož NERADTK OLIMPIJA61:03:53-2 krogCX
231211Domen NOVAK22ADRIA MOBIL (ADR)50:54:40-3 krogCX
24148Blaž Sušnik50:57:01-3 krogostali
2513149Jure Jeraj3550:58:02-3 krogCX
26.14.146Andrej BlažinaPICIBICI50:58:59-3 krogCX
27.15.16Aleš UDOVI?38KD ŠEN?UR20:14:05-6 krogCX

2016 Slovenia Cyclocross National Championships - Masters Men

1146Dušan HAJDINJAK44TEAM TURBO80:58:24-CX
2241Miran KURNIK45KK GREGA BOLE80:59:07+0:43.75CX
3340Bojan LOCNIKAR44BIKEREPUBLIC80:59:15+0:51.36CX
4444Matej DAKSKOBLER41KK PANTAL81:01:26+3:02.63CX
5539Iztok KURET50KD ALPE SIS81:03:27+5:03.40CX
638Jože VESEL42KD PAPEŽ70:55:38-1 krogostali
7637Mitja OTER42KK POSTOJNA71:02:07-1 krogCX
848Boris PRAZNIK40JB TEAM71:03:44-1 krogostali
9743Matjaž KOVA?44IZVIR VIPAVA71:04:43-1 krogCX
1049Alojz POGLAVC46JB TEAM71:05:12-1 krogostali
11835Tine ZUPAN57SCOTT TEAM60:55:26-2 krogCX
1236Edvin BREZNIKBREZ KLUBA60:58:16-2 krogostali
1333UroŠ ŠESEK5040:58:33-4 krogostali
14942Lucjan PREMRN51IZVIR VIPAVA20:15:24-6 krogCX