The Marathon will take place during 12th and
14th June in Ljubljana and its surroundings. Due to the time adjustment
between sports events in Slovenia, the Big and the Little Marathon will
start an hour earlier as initially planned – on Sunday, 14th June at 8
a.m. and 9.30 a.m., respectively.

This year, the biggest and most traditional cycling event in Slovenia
will await the competitors with five trials of different difficulty
levels: Big Marathon Franja BTC City (156 km), Little Marathon Franja
BTC City (97 km), Hofer Family and School Marathon (25 km), Vzajemna
Trial for Kids (1.5 km) and Ljubljana-Domžale-Ljubljana Time Trial (22
km/44 km). The core of the entire cycling event, the cycling products
and services, as well as the accompanying programme will take place in
the largest Slovenian shopping, business, tourist, cultural,
entertainment and sports centre BTC City Ljubljana.  

Since we understand the importance and the magnitude of both sports
events taking place on the same day (Marathon Franja BTC City and the
football match between Slovenia and England), the Big and the Little
Marathon Franja BTC City will start an hour earlier as expected. The
start of the longest cycling trial of the event will take place at 8
a.m. instead of 9 a.m., with the competitors of the Little Marathon
Franja BTC City racing at 9.30 a.m. instead of 10.30 a.m., as planned at
first. The time delay of races on Sunday will contribute to better
safety of the cyclists in the final stages of the route and to a more
successful organisation of both sports events.

We wish to thank over 1,800 organisers and the accompanying staff for
their contribution to making the Slovenian cycling festival possible,
especially after bringing together 7,750 participants last year. Along
with them, a successful organisation would not be possible without all
the sponsors. The event relies on great support from the partners so
far, and this year there are new supporters joining them; Hofer and
Vzajemna as major supporters of the Family and School Marathon and the
Trial for Kids, with Eles and Merkur right by their side. All the
competitors will surely be surprised by the gifts Hofer, Jogobella,
Vzajemna and Leone have in store for them.

At the presentation of the 34th Marathon Franja BTC City, Gorazd
Penko, the Marathon Director, emphasized the importance of the event for
the development of Slovenian cycling: “Knowing how to and being able to
organise a world scale event is what we have already proven and wish to
do again. In these past years the Marathon Franja BTC City has
surpassed Slovenian borders and has become known to the world as one of
the most prominent recreational cycling events. It has exceeded every
expectation and has become a cycling, an entertainment and a
business-opportunity platform. For the competitors it is a great
opportunity to put their abilities to the test, for the visitors it may
be an inspiration to pick up cycling, and for the current and future
partners it just as well may be what proves that cycling is worth
investing in.”

Jože Mermal, President of the BTC Management Board, at the event
explained the magnitude of the support that cycling has been given: “The
BTC Company has recognised the opportunity to be an active part in
developing cycling in Slovenia in the scope of socially responsible
activities. We are extremely proud that by supporting the Marathon
Franja BTC City we can contribute to the high level of organisation and
thereby raise cycling awareness of Slovenian cyclists. With all our
activities in promoting cycling we have contributed to the fact that
people are massively taking part in cycling events, whether as
competitors or as fans, that they are cycling in their free time, and
that they are using their bikes to get around. Moreover, cycling is no
longer in the domain of men, but has become a popular women’s sports
discipline. With the help of the BTC City Ljubljana team our endeavours
have reached world cycling elites.”

Not only is Slovenia becoming a synonym for a cycling country; with
events like the Marathon Franja BTC City and constant investments in the
cycling infrastructure, Ljubljana is also becoming a cycling capital”,
said Marko Kolenc, the Head of the Sports Department at the City
Municipality of Ljubljana, and added: “Our endeavours, following the
principles of sustainable development of a city, enable the visitors of
the capital to go about their chores by bike, and take part or compete
in sports events. Ljubljana belongs to all the visitors, not only to
those driving cars, but to cyclists and pedestrians as well. It was,
after all, this kind of thinking that won us the prestigious European
Green Capital 2016 Award.”

Toni Dragar, Mayor of the Municipality of Domžale, also shared his
thoughts on the Time trial Ljubljana-Domžale-Ljubljana: “I am happy that
the Municipality of Domžale can be an active part in writing such a
great cycling story like the Marathon Franja BTC City. The organisation
of a time trial race is a responsible task and we are excited to take it
on. Our co-operation proves that sportsmanship knows no boundaries and
that is what brings Domžale and Ljubljana even closer.”

A rapid development of cycling in Slovenia in the last few years as
well as the successful organisation of the Marathon Franja BTC City has
raised the attention of the UCI. After last year’s successful
organisation of ARWC in August, the Cycling club KD Rog, the BTC
Company, the City Municipality of Ljubljana and the Slovenian Cycling
Federation will this year be responsible for the organisation of the
second peak on the highest cycling level – the Giro Rosa race, the most
elite trial in women’s UCI calendar that will this year start outside of
Italy for the first time ever. The prologue will take place on 3rd July
in the centre of the capital, with the 102.5 km long first stage
following on the next day in the reverse direction of the Little
Marathon Franja route, starting in Kamnik and finishing in BTC City
Ljubljana. The introductory trials in Slovenia will be followed by 8
stages in Italy, with the finish on 12th July in San Domenico di Varzo.
Organising Giro Rosa is a step further in the development of Slovenian
cycling as well, since it represents the foundation for forming
organisational standards for future important sports events in Slovenia.

Upholding the bright future of the Marathon Franja BTC City is also
the recent signing of a four-year contract between the organiser of the
event, Cycling club KD Rog, and the BTC Company which has been the
general sponsor of the marathon since 2003. The result of a successful
co-operation between the two and the City Municipality of Ljubljana can
be seen in last year’s foundation of the first professional women’s
cycling team BTC City Ljubljana, which will, in accordance with the
contract, receive full support of the BTC Company during the future four
years. The members of the team have called attention to themselves with
great results already in their first season, followed by outstanding
performances this year, thereby winning organisers’ invitations to the
biggest and most prestigious races in the world. Among others, they will
compete in the three most important cycling events in the world: in the
elite Giro Rosa race with the prologue and the first stage in Ljubljana
in July, on the final day of the Tour de France race in La Course by Le
Tour de France in July, and in the third most important race in the
world, the Spanish Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta in September.

In addition to women cyclists, there are also the protégés of Marko
Polanc, the director and trainer of men’s continental team Radenska
Kuota, who are achieving notable results on the professional cycling
stage. The Cycling club KD Rog is very actively involved in raising
young cyclists of both genders who are constantly achieving top results.
Coming from the same club is also Jan Polanc who recently won the 5th
stage of this year’s Giro d’Italia.


Additional information:

BTC, Maja Oven, Director of Market Communications and Public Relations Sector