GeneralNewsTeam 11: Slovenia

Avatar Kieran JonesNovember 8, 2011

Slovenia

2009-2010 Nations Cup Ranking: 10th (1161 pts)

2010-2011 Nations Cup Ranking: 11th (1880 pts)

Men: N/A (0 pts)

Women: 6th (1880 pts)

2011/2012 World Cup Team

Men

N/A

Women

Katja Visnar

Vesna Fabjan

Barbara Jezersek

Alena Cebasek

Anja Erzen

 

Petra Majdic chatting with FasterSkier at the Canmore World Cup, 2010.

What You May Have Missed Last Season

Majdic was her dominant self on the sprint course last season, winning four sprints to become the Sprint Cup victor for the third time in her eleven-year World Cup career.

However, in a season where she proclaimed that she returned with her eye on the Crystal Globe, Majdic was a tad disappointing during distance racing in her final year, picking up a single medal, a bronze in the 5 k classic during the Kuusamo mini-tour.

We know, it’s crazy that someone who won the Sprint Cup, finished 13th in the distance rankings, and sixth in the overall could be called ‘disappointing’, but that’s the standard her rabid fans, and she herself sets.

While it’s clear that Majdic knows how to sprint, the Slovenian women coming up behind her have learned a thing or two about speed as well. Following closely in Majdic’s sprinting footsteps are Vesna Fabjan and Katja Visnar, who actually recorded the exact same number of World Cup points – 266 each – this season.

In particular, the two Slovenians put on quite the show during the skate sprint in Rybinsk, Russia. After qualifying first and second, they cruised through the rounds, and topped off their day by dominating an Italian-packed final, Fabjan taking the win, and Visnar holding off Justyna Kowalczyk for second.

Fabjan also brought her A-game when it mattered most, making the sprint final at World Championships in Oslo, and finishing fourth to Majdic.

What You Need To Know for This Season

Slovenia's Petra Majdic after her win in the classic sprint in Otepaa, Estonia.

Majdic has retired, leaving a massive hole on the team, and on the World Cup in general. She was a permanent fixture, earning 33 World Cup podiums in her career. She also seemed to have a knack for generating big headlines, big excitement, and without a doubt put Slovenia on the map in terms of cross country skiing. Whether you’re a fan of the exuberant Slovenian or not, you have to appreciate her success in the sport.

While Majdic is walking away, it’s pretty clear that Visnar and Fabjan are more than ready to take over and carry the load – at least on the sprinting front, as they finished eighth and ninth on the Sprint Cup respectively. While Fabjan is primarily a skate specialist, she can still qualify in classic, and Visnar can do both. As well, at 26 and 27 years of age, have plenty of prime years ahead of them.

Unfortunately, distance skiing is going to be tough for the Slovenians this year. Fabjan picked up a grand total of 2 points, while Barbara Jezersek added 26 in the limited World Cup action she saw.

Visnar seems to be in great shape, as she managed to win a car in a rollerski race, and she is now gunning for success on the Tour de Ski and the Sprint Cup.

Canadians should get excited about the 27 year old Slovenian – while Visnar is still dating Ola Vigen Hattestad, she knows how to skate and hold a hockey stick.

The Slovenian men continue to be pretty much nonexistent, at least in the points scoring department, failing to notch any for another year, a status that is unlikely to change immediately.

Look! A Slovenian male skier hiding behind Torin Koos!

Also, for those concerned, there is no word yet on whether the Slovenians will be dazzling the World Cup with their – let’s call them ‘distinct’ – suits.

Who You Should Watch

Rok Trsan is the Slovenian of the future. He has a disgustingly awesome name, finished 4th and 13th at World Junior Championships in Otepaa, and still has another year of junior skiing to make some noise. While the women are doing the damage now on the World Cup, it won’t be long before Trsan will be mixing it up.

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Kieran Jones

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