Some of the best Slovenian downhill and four cross racers will start their 2010 season in the white and blue jerseys of the new Unior Tools Team, a UCI-registered mountain bike team. They will be joined by the Greek women's downhill champion. Together, the squad's eight mountain bikers will race UCI World Cups and other international gravity events such as the iXS downhill series.
The excitement before the first four cross round of the UCI mountain bike World Cup in Houffalize, Belgium, this weekend is high. Unior Tools will be one of many teams from around the world participating in the four cross race on Saturday evening.
Maria Michalogiannaki aka "Lady M" is fast female Greek racer with good results in the European scene. Ziga Pandur won the junior iXS European Cup in Germany and was 10th in the European Championships held on his home track. Together with two-times national champion Jan Cestnik and the other men on the team, he will be aiming for finishes in top 80.
Four cross ambitions are even higher with hopes for top 10 positions in women's category while the men will try to improve on past performances and get into the top 20.
The new team reflects the growth of Slovenian mountain biking. Slovenia has hosted the UCI World Cup in Maribor, the European Championships in Kranjska Gora and it has its own national cup that routinely attracts more than 200 downhillers.
The first highlight of the season for the Unior Tool Team will be the downhill and four cross World Cup race at home in Maribor on May 15-16.
The team is managed by Tine Mahkovec and Bostjan Vizin. Mechanic Rok Jurca will keep the team's bikes in shape and Grega Stopar will serve as the team's media officer.
Other sponsors of the team are adidas Eyewear, Trek Bicycles, SRAM, Xenofit, Everyday Wear and media partner Mountainbikeslovenia (mtb.si).
For more information on the team, visit www.uniortoolsteam.com.
Unior Tools Team roster for 2010
Neza Knez (4X, BMX)
Maria Michalogiannaki (DH)
Jan Cestnik (DH)
Zan Jurca (DH)
Ziga Knez (4X)
Tilen Frank (BMX, 4X)
Ziga Pandur (DH)
Kristjan Vrecek (DH)