GeneralNewsRacingWorld CupTeam 10: Slovenia

Avatar Kieran JonesNovember 9, 20101

Slovenia

Nations Cup Ranking: 10th (1890 pts)

Men: N/A

Women: 7th (1890 pts)

2010/2011 A Team

Men

N/A

Women

Petra Majdic

Vesna Fabjan

Katja Visnar

What you may have missed last season:

The Slovenians managed to ski their way into the top 10 on the Nations Cup with only three skiers – all female – contributing to their points total. Embarrassing for other countries? Slightly, but when the three athletes you’re facing are Petra Majdic, Vesna Fabjan and Katja Visnar, it’s not so bad. All three finished in the top 11 in the sprint cup standings, no small feat.

In what could be the understatement of the year, you probably have heard of Petra Majdic. After the Olympics, she needs no introduction, although if you really need a reminder, there are plenty of places that recount her Olympic experience.

Fabjan and Visnar are not quite as well known, but rest assured, if you watched a World Cup this winter, you would have seen them. Mostly because of  Slovenia’s choice of the highlighter-yellow racing suit (which they tragically eschewed in Vancouver), but also because they sprint really fast.

Vesna Fabjan rocking the highlighter-yellow

Fabjan tore up the sprint circuit, failing to qualify just once and finishing on the individual podium twice. Her best weekend of the year was in Rybinsk, Russia, where Fabjan took her first World Cup victory in the individual, then won team sprint silver with Visnar. Fabjan and Majdic were a lock to make the Olympic team sprint an event to remember for Slovenia, until Majdic’s injuries forced her to bow out.

What You Should Know For This Season

Petra Majdic is back! More importantly, she’s healthy! She also specifies that finishing second  in the sprint cup last year – despite not racing a single event after the Olympics – just isn’t good enough. She wants the Crystal Globe.

If Majdic can regain her form – and when she’s in top shape she is one of the absolute best on the circuit – things will go well for Slovenia. If not, Fabjan and Visnar will be able to pick up the slack sprinting – though the distance results will be non-existent.

Oh, right, and just in case you thought FasterSkier was being sexist, there are literally no males on the radar for Slovenian skiing. The odds are good, boys!

Who You Should Watch

Katja Visnar was good last year – she went 11 for 11 in qualifying for the heats in the sprints she started, including the Olympics. While she never stood on the podium as an individual (she did get that second in the team sprint in Rybinsk), the kind of consistency she displayed in classic and skate sprinting means that it’s only a matter of time – especially with Majdic there to guide her.

If you’re playing Call of Duty on your Xbox, and you’re a terrible teammate, look out: Visnar likes her video games, but only when her teammates are good. Visnar is also dating Ola Vigen Hattestad, so if FIS ever introduces the family mixed team sprint event, which seems like it could be a possibility with all the new formats being rolled out, watch out for them.

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Kieran Jones

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