Organizers are expecting more than 7,000 cyclists of all generations at this year’s, 32nd Marathon Franja BTC City, which will take place between June 7th and June 9th. The event is considered as the biggest sports and recreational cycling event in Slovenia. In 2013 Marathon Franja BTC City is once again part of the UCI World Cycling Tour, leading the organizers to expect many foreign cyclists at the start in BTC City Ljubljana. The event’s reputation has also spread abroad. This year’s celebration of cycling is a great dress rehearsal for August 2014, when Ljubljana will host the World Championship for recreational cyclists.
The same as last year, when Marathon Franja BTC City for the first time extended over three days, this year the event will also be opened by competitors in the time trial event, which will include recreational as well as professional cyclists, since the event will be part of the Slovenian national cycling championship. At Friday’s (June 7th) 18.6km event for women and 38km event for men the organizers are expecting around 300 participants.
On Saturday (June 8th) and on Sunday (June 9th) the programme of Marathon Franja BTC City will be a classical one, with the start and finish in BTC City Ljubljana. On Saturday at 4.00 pm all families are welcome to take part in Polet Club’s 25 kilometre E. Leclerc Marathon for families and schools, followed by the Generali Children’s Trial – the 1450-metre circular ride through BTC City at 4.30 pm. Organizers are expecting around 2,500 participants on Saturday’s family-cycling day.
Sunday’s start (June 9th) of the 32nd Marathon Franja BTC City will be at 9am in front of the Crystal Palace in BTC City. The 156km trial extends over the standard route from Ljubljana, Vrhnika, Logatec, Godovič, Idrija, Cerkno, Kladje, Sovodnje, Škofja Loka, Vodice, Tacen, and back to Ljubljana. At 10:30am cyclists will be joined by the participants of the Small Marathon Franja BTC City, which is a 97km trial from Ljubljana, Dobrova, Horjul, Vrzdenec, Lucina, Gorenja Vas, Škofja Loka, Vodice, Tacen, and back to Ljubljana. Organizers are expecting around 4,500 participants to take part in Sunday’s event.
The president of the organizing committee of Marathon Franja BTC City, Jože Mermal, is convinced that this year’s celebration of cycling will without a doubt match its reputation. “I am convinced that the Slovenes will once again prove that we are a nation of cyclists. It is not important what drives you to visit our event, whether it is only to enjoy the celebration of cycling or if you want to test your cycling abilities or even if your goal is to win, Marathon Franja BTC City welcomes everyone,” said Jože Mermal, President of BTC Management Board.
Marathon Franja has long overgrown its initial idea and is not just an event circling BTC City, Ljubljana and its surroundings, but it is much bigger than that. Each year the organizers, along with their partners, introduce many novelties, which are this year related to history, culture and art. In 2013 Marathon Franja BTC City is collaborating with the exhibition at the City Museum, entitled “Bicycle, 5200 years” (“Kolo, 5200 let”). The oldest wooden bicycle with an axis, originating 5200 years back, was found in the area of Ljubljana barje. The exhibition has been put on display at the Ljubljana City Museum on May 24th.
In the scope of Marathon Franja, children in the past years also participated in some cultural activities. The company Butan plin, one of the long-term sponsors of Marathon Franja, has this year donated reflective bicycles to the youngest in kindergartens as well as for the first time ever set up the all-Slovene project “Safe Cycling” (“Varno na kolesu”), in which pupils of primary schools took part. Throughout the entire year they have managed to prepare and create various products focusing on cyclists’ safety in traffic through playful and creative activities.
Announcement: World Championship for recreational cyclists – Ljubljana 2014
BTC d.d., Maja Oven, Director of the Market Communication and Public Relations Sector
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