For those of us that weren’t blind drunk when the downhill World Cup calendar for 2018 was released late on Friday, there was one venue that set tongues wagging.
Lošinj, a Mediterranean island off the coast of Croatia, will be hosting a World Cup for the first time. The 1.9km track has 250 metres of altitude change and even comes with a street section to finish among the boats in the town’s harbour area.
So how did this come about? We spoke to Slovenians Sebastjan and Matej from the organising committee to figure out why they decided to host a World Cup in another country 300 kilometres from where they lived:
How would you describe the Croatian downhill scene?
Currently the race scene is not doing its best with only the Lošinj UCI C1 race on 22/23rd of April 2017 on the calendar.
We need to look at the scene together with Slovenia, a neighbouring country, because racers traditionally race together in both countries. In that sense we are happy to be a part of the new UNIOR DOWNHILL CUP this year with five races (four in Slovenia and Lošinj) all UCI C1 or C2 category.
How did racing start on Lošinj?
We (MTB Trbovlje) have already spent some time on Lošinj as tourists and explored the local trails on bikes. In 2011 we met two nice people from Athletic Club Lošinj – Lovro and Miro, and together we gave a shot at trying to build a race scene. It was not easy for us as Lošinj island is 300km away from our homes!
It only took us six months to build some trails and then in 2012 we stared building the DH track and preparing for the first DH race. The first race was in 2013.