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.
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 Livestream.si 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
|1||5||Peter ZUPAN?I?||21||CALCIT BIKE TEAM||8||0:57:07||-||ostali|
|2||1||17||Vlado KERKEZ||33||KD EN?UR||8||0:59:00||+1:53.30||CX|
|3||29||Bruno RADOTI?||34||BK PULS ?AKOVEC||8||1:00:24||+3:17.12||CX|
|5||3||32||Marko PAVLI?||24||CYCLING ACADEMY||8||1:02:57||+5:50.57||CX|
|6||9||David PER||22||ADRIA MOBIL (ADR)||8||1:03:26||+6:19.68||ostali|
|7||14||Jon BOZIC||21||ADRIA MOBIL (ADR)||8||1:08:26||+11:19.23||ostali|
|147||Jure Bitenc||KD EN?UR||7||0:55:41||-1 krog||ostali|
|9||13||Matej DRINOVEC||26||ADRIA MOBIL (ADR)||7||0:55:46||-1 krog||ostali|
|10||4||12||Gaper KATRANIK||22||ADRIA MOBIL (ADR)||7||0:56:02||-1 krog||CX|
|11||15||Matic PLAZNIK||27||KD BRDA DOBROVO||7||0:58:24||-1 krog||ostali|
|12||10||Gorazd PER||20||ADRIA MOBIL (ADR)||7||0:59:35||-1 krog||ostali|
|13||5||22||Jan T. ?ERNIC||PICIBICI||7||1:02:24||-1 krog||CX|
|14||6||28||Mitja BANDEL||32||PICIBICI||7||1:03:08||-1 krog||CX|
|15||7||1||Matic OMAN||30||KD EN?UR||7||1:05:42||-1 krog||CX|
|16||150||Marko Poto?ar||7||1:06:00||-1 krog||ostali|
|17||8||24||Marko AJN||PICIBICI||6||0:55:28||-2 krog||CX|
|18||9||3||Bla MIKLI?||OSM FILMS||6||0:55:41||-2 krog||CX|
|19||10||26||Uro JAKA||36||PICIBICI||6||0:57:16||-2 krog||CX|
|20||8||Matej HORVAT||19||KK ADRIA MOBIL||6||1:02:57||-2 krog||ostali|
|21||132||Joe upan?i?||6||1:03:04||-2 krog||ostali|
|22||11||2||Primo NERAD||TK OLIMPIJA||6||1:03:53||-2 krog||CX|
|23||12||11||Domen NOVAK||22||ADRIA MOBIL (ADR)||5||0:54:40||-3 krog||CX|
|24||148||Bla Sunik||5||0:57:01||-3 krog||ostali|
|25||13||149||Jure Jeraj||35||5||0:58:02||-3 krog||CX|
|26.||14.||146||Andrej Blaina||PICIBICI||5||0:58:59||-3 krog||CX|
|27.||15.||16||Ale UDOVI?||38||KD EN?UR||2||0:14:05||-6 krog||CX|
|DSQ||20||Primo OBAL||27||TEAM TURBO||DSQ||CX|
|DNF||31||Gregor SIKOEK||33||JB TEAM||DNF||CX|
2016 Slovenia Cyclocross National Championships - Masters Men
|1||1||46||Duan HAJDINJAK||44||TEAM TURBO||8||0:58:24||-||CX|
|2||2||41||Miran KURNIK||45||KK GREGA BOLE||8||0:59:07||+0:43.75||CX|
|4||4||44||Matej DAKSKOBLER||41||KK PANTAL||8||1:01:26||+3:02.63||CX|
|5||5||39||Iztok KURET||50||KD ALPE SIS||8||1:03:27||+5:03.40||CX|
|6||38||Joe VESEL||42||KD PAPE||7||0:55:38||-1 krog||ostali|
|7||6||37||Mitja OTER||42||KK POSTOJNA||7||1:02:07||-1 krog||CX|
|8||48||Boris PRAZNIK||40||JB TEAM||7||1:03:44||-1 krog||ostali|
|9||7||43||Matja KOVA?||44||IZVIR VIPAVA||7||1:04:43||-1 krog||CX|
|10||49||Alojz POGLAVC||46||JB TEAM||7||1:05:12||-1 krog||ostali|
|11||8||35||Tine ZUPAN||57||SCOTT TEAM||6||0:55:26||-2 krog||CX|
|12||36||Edvin BREZNIK||BREZ KLUBA||6||0:58:16||-2 krog||ostali|
|13||33||Uro ESEK||50||4||0:58:33||-4 krog||ostali|
|14||9||42||Lucjan PREMRN||51||IZVIR VIPAVA||2||0:15:24||-6 krog||CX|