Racing in Val di Sole never disappoints, this year it was even more intense with rainbow stripes on the line. Jure Žabjek was our weapon for this race, of course he was racing for the green, white and blue colors of Slovenian national team.
Jure is number 15 rider on the UCI rankings, which put him in the bigger spotlight than usual, but he kept the pressure and didn’t worry about anything but the track – the Black Snake. Maybe the hardest track in the World Cup is steep and full of traps, but it’s also something that riders like.
On the end of the week it was all about those four minutes of racing at the maximum pace. Watching Jure on the big screen was intense, especially in the technical sections where everything can go wrong in a blink of an eye. But he was holding to the bars like crazy and navigated that bike to the finish. He was over 20 seconds down on Hart’s time, enough for very good 30th place.
Jure Žabjek: “Conditions on the track were very hard throughout the championships. I knew bottom part of the track from last year, but the top part was new for me and I had to study it thoroughly. Most of us were on the same line, and that line got from bad to worse and every day the holes were deeper and dustier. This meant that the track was even a bigger challenge.
I didn’t do as many training rides as usually, I was saving my strength for the final run. On official timed session on Saturday I finally realized the brutality of this track, it’s really, really hard if you have to do it in one piece and with maximum speed. Some riders were also playing with the tires, I was on Magic Marys for the whole time and I was very happy with them.
I pushed it hard in my last run, but I was starting to feel my arms towards the bottom and there is where I did two small mistakes and lost some time. Still I set a better result than last year and I’m very happy with it.
The whole ‘final run experience’ was quite different for me – there were just a few of us on the top at the time of my start, and gaps between runs were long. There wasn’t much people on the top part, they were are bellow and the atmosphere there was just crazy!
The season was hard, but I had lots of great results in the World Cup and both championships, now I just have one more European cup race and the finals of the Slovenian cup.”
We can’t logout from Val di Sole without congratulating to both Rachel Atherton and Danny Hart for well deserved titles.
Full results on UCI website
Reply of the race on the Red Bull TV
Photos by Klemen Humar, Keith Valentine & Grega Stopar
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