After a weekend with no less than three UCI Gran Fondo World Series events (Luxemburg, Great Britain and Costa Rica), we are headed to Slovenia for the next race. The Maraton Franja BTC City in Ljubljana is a mainstay event on our calendar and boasts a rich history.
It was first organized in 1982 and named after the Franja Hospital, a secret medical center where soldiers were treated during World War II. Over the course of the years, the Maraton became a major cycling event in Slovenia, while the number of international participants steadily grew as well. Since 2011, it has been part of the UCI Gran Fondo World Series. Today, the Maraton Franja BTC City is a two-day cycling event, with a Family ride on Saturday, aimed at parents with younger children.
The Sunday race is the qualifying event for the 2023 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in Glasgow. Participants race on a loop of 157 km with 1.500 m of elevation (men 19-59 and women 19-49) or 100 km with 700 m of elevation (men 60+ and women 50+). Both courses start and finish in Ljubljana.
Riders in the long race will face two longer climbs. The first one starts around the 27th km marker and is about 4 km in length with an average gradient of 5%. Afterwards, the road continues to gently climb for some 20 km. At around km 80, riders have to tackle 10 km of climbing at an average gradient of over 8%, with some sections reaching well into double-digit percentages. Meanwhile, participants in the 100 km race are presented with an 8 km climb starting around the 28th km marker, with an average gradient of about 5%. With these climbs in the legs, it’s downhill all the way to the finish line, which is situated on a wide and straight road that allows for sprints.
With about 3.000 riders from 31 different countries all over the world lining up for both races, the 2023 Maraton Franja BTC City promises to be another successful edition of this event!