Maribor makes its return to the World Cup circuit for the first time since 2010.
In its 9 years of absence it has been a regular on the IXS circuit and will kick off the European series with a mini-World Cup
this weekend that is expected to have most of the top riders in attendance.
This will be the ninth World Cup Maribor has hosted and the track still retains its classic lay out with a mix of bike park sections,
deep woods, open piste corners and a fearsome rock garden slap bang in the middle.
For the World Cup, the trail team are putting a new kicker on the start straight and will be resurrecting the finish area from the
Thankfully Maribor had barely changed at all in its absence.
A stark contrast of open pistes and deep woods made for an engaging watch.
There were plenty of places to lose or gain time and it kept both Eliot Jackson and Ben Cathro
busy on site explaining the various line choices on offer. It was a race that required consistency
with neither race victor winning the majority of sectors but instead keeping a clean pair of heels on a smooth run.
The track packs down into roughly five sectors of around 30 seconds.
Sector 1 covers the top sweeping turns on the grass and the first dive into the woods.
Sector 2 covers some decent sized gaps in the woods and yet more clay turns in the open.
From Sector 3 onwards it's in the woods all the way to finish straight.
The middle sector turned out to be one of the most crucial with the rock garden,
Sam Hill's surprisingly tricky right hander off the fireroad and the huge gap jump.
Sector 4 started with the fresh cut section, which saw developing lines throughout the weekend,
then fed into a series of corners with plenty of camber and options.
The final section was the most bike parky. Keeping the rhythm here and flying round the hard packed corners was key
to going fast.