To the first competition of the BMW IBU World Cup 2019/20 Pokljuka, the men’s individual 20 km, is exactly 30 days (23-26 January). Competitions on Rudno polje will be performed right before the IBU World Championships Biathlon 2020 in Italian Anterselva. Therefore, preparatory work in Pokljuka for the biathlon caravan is already underway.
The last warming in Pokljuka took away this year’s snowfall, but there is some artificial snow in stock, and at the first temperatures below the freezing, snow cannons will produce snow again. However, in January there is no need to worry about winter conditions at Pokljuka.
Competition will be important in many ways. The athletes will try out the form just before the World Championships and gain confidence, or receive the latest information on what they need to correct before the main competitions of the year. For the Pokljuka organizers, the race is also a general before the World Championships, which will be back in Slovenia after two decades in February next year (9-21 February).
This year’s World Cup will already form working groups that will look after individual areas of the World Championship next year, the largest winter-sport event on the southern side of the Alps so far.
But the World Cup is just one in a series of competitions in this winter at Pokljuka. The IBU Junior Cup for the best young athletes was held here in mid-December, and at the end of December and immediately after the new year (28th and 29th December and 4th January), the National Championship will be held in Pokljuka, where Slovenian racers will also try out the Pokljuka trails in snowy conditions, thus perhaps gaining a little advantage over the competition.
As every year, the organization of competitions is, of course, primarily focused on athletes. Desire is the success of the National Team. “We have clearly announced before the season that we have two high goals in the season. The World Championships in Italy and the home competitions at Pokljuka. Of course, it will be difficult to perform in top form at both venues, as the competitions are very close together, but we still want to be very successful at home and upgrade our results in Anterselva , “says Uroš Velepec, the head coach of Slovenian biathletes, a month before Pokljuka.
He also remembers his competitions in the Gorenjska region. “For one thing, I can say that unfortunately I have performed less on Pokljuka than I would have liked, since I ended my career too soon. But the fact is that it was always nice to be at home. The pressure in front of the home audience was not particularly great. You do your best, maybe a little more, because you know that you are performing for your fans who support you all year long. ”
It cannot be overlooked that Pokljuka has a very attractive programme this year. Both singles, mixed doubles and relay races, as well as Formula 1 biathlon – mass start competitions.
Let us on this occasion remind all journalists that you are accredited for the competition in due time, and at the same time we wish you a happy Christmas holiday and good luck and success in the coming year 2020.