The Marathon Franja BTC City is the biggest holiday of Slovene cycling. It is an international event, which brings more and more cyclists together every year, from recreational cyclists to professional athletes. The organisers expect more than 7000 cyclists of all generations taking part in the most-attended sports and recreational cycling event in Slovenia, the 33rd Marathon Franja BTC City, which will take place between 6 and 8 June 2014. This year the Marathon Franja BTC City is again a part of the UCI World Cycling Tour, thus the event organisers are expecting many foreign cyclists to take part in the marathon, since it has an established reputation also abroad. The main event’s novelty is the first cycling race for female professional cyclists, the Grand Prix of Ljubljana.
As per tradition the Marathon will extend over three days. It will be opened by competitors in the time trial race, which will include recreational and professional cyclists, since the race will also count for the National Championship title. In the Friday’s 18.6 km women’s race and in the 38 km men’s race the organisers expect around 300 competitors to take part. The race will also count as qualification for the final time trial race of the UWCT.
On Saturday, 7 June, at 4 p.m., families will take on the 25 km E.Leclerc Family-school Marathon Klub Polet za vsakogar, followed by the Children’s Marathon – a 1450 m long circular tour around BTC City Ljubljana, at 4:30 p.m. The youngest will receive Wheel Bee LED lights, the funds for which were gathered at the 24 hour charity cycling event with Marko Baloh, a well known ultramarathon cyclist. The organizers expect approx. 2500 visitors on Saturday.
On Sunday, 8 June, in regards to previous years you can expect to see come changes to the Marathon Franja BTC City programme, starting and ending in BTC City Ljubljana. The participants of the Small and the Big Marathon will start in the time span, depending on their age category, which will contribute to greater safety of all participants.
The start of the 33rd Marathon Franja BTC City will be at 9 a.m. in front of the Crystal Palace in BTC City Ljubljana. The 156 km long race will take the traditional course route from Ljubljana, Vrhnika, Logatec, Godovič, Idrija, Cerkno, Kladje, Sovodenj, Škofja Loka, Vodice, and Tacen till the finish line in Ljubljana. At 10:30 a.m. the cyclists will be joined by the cyclists taking part in the 97 km Small Marathon Franja BTC City, extending from Ljubljana, Dobrova, Horjul, Vrzdenec, Lucina, Gorenja Vas, Škofja Loka, Vodice, Tacen to Ljubljana. The organisers estimate that approx. 4500 cyclists will ride on Sunday.
The President of the Marathon Franja BTC City Organising Committee, who is also the President of the BTC Management Board, Mr Jože Mermal, is convinced that this year’s cycling event will live to its reputation. He added: “Last year the Marathon Franja BTC City brought together more than 7200 cycling enthusiasts and included more than 1600 organisers and accompanying team members. I am convinced that this year Slovenes will once again show that we are a nation of cyclists. The reason for your visit of the Marathon is not significant; whether you want to actively participate in the event or you just want to enjoy watching cyclists putting their pedals to the metal, or even if you want to win – what is important is the fact that the Marathon Franja BTC City welcomes everyone.
In the scope of the Marathon Franja BTC City the organisers give special attention to raising awareness about greater safety of cyclists in Ljubljana. Together with the City Municipality of Ljubljana and partners the Slovenian capital saw the Marathon Franja BTC City markings painted on some of the most popular cycling routes already last year. There were also painted motivational messages which warned cyclists, pedestrians and drivers about the most dangerous cycling spots in the city. This campaign brought them the Grand Prix award at this year’s 23rd Slovenian Advertising Festival. This year all the markings will be upgraded.
This year the organisers of the all-Slovene cycling holiday and the BTC Company will bring the message of the Marathon Franja BTC City together to the Slovenian seaside, where motivational messages will mark the cycling route Parenzana, which connects Slovenia and Croatia.
The BTC Company is also a supporter of the project Safe Cycling (“Varno na kolesu”), which focuses mainly on the safety of the youngest cyclists and the strengthening of the cycling culture. The BTC Company is also eagerly awaiting a novelty in 2014, as three new cycling stations BicikeLJ will find their place in BTC City Ljubljana. This will certainly please all city cyclists and users of this “green service” with which BTC City will be even more intensively connected to the city centre and other parts of Ljubljana. This project, along with the existing big cycling Festival and the campaign “On Bicycle You Can Get Far!” will contribute to a greater cycling mobility and to the decrease in air pollution. The campaign which will end in BTC City Ljubljana on 24th May carries a humanitarian note, since the gathered financial funds will support the mission led by the missionary Pedro Opeka and help build the maternity hospital in Madagascar.
Maja Oven, Director of the Market Communications and Public Relations Sector
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