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Peat & Atherton head star field at European Downhill Champs

Jure Logar

Jure Logar (Image credit: Anze Furlan)

Slovenia is the place to be for gravity racers in the next two weeks. On Friday, June 12, the European Downhill Championships will kick off in Kranjska Gora, and next weekend on June 20-21.

An impressive turnout is expected, including 367 elite and junior riders from 27 nations. The team that stands out as the favorite is Great Britain with current World Cup leader Steve Peat and reigning World Champion Gee Atherton.

Brendan Fairclough, Mark Beaumont, Josh Bryceland and, of course, Tracy Moseley will also join them. Moseley will take on a strong French contingent including World Cup leader Sabrina Jonnier, Emmeline Ragot, Floriane Pugin and Myriam Nicole.

Riders from outside of Europe are permitted to compete and some from Australia and New Zealand are expected.

The championships will be an opportunity for Slovenian riders to race in front of the home fans and against world's best. The Slovenians have a good cross country team, but are still working on developing an international downhill star. Those to watch this weekend are Nejc Rutar, Jan Cestnik, Luka Novak and Sasa Merljak.

The action kicks off Friday with a seeding run for the 76 masters racers, opening ceremonies and a party. Elites and juniors will do their seeding on Saturday, and finals wrap up the action on Sunday.

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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.