MTB Parenzana stage race, the largest cycling event in Istria, is about to kick off for the 22nd time!
The most renowned mountain bike event in Istria, Parenzana was originally devised to revive the route along the former rail line of the same name. This year’s Parenzana will take place on Sunday, September 24, with a total of 1100 competitors participating in all prepared events, reports Glas Istre.
“This traditional manifestation attracts a growing number of visitors with each passing year, but the outcome also depends on the weather conditions; in case of nice, sunny weather, we’ll probably see a larger number of cyclists and hikers”, said Marko Ferenac, the mayor of Vižinada.
The cycling race has a 46-kilometre route, starting from Vižinada via Karojba and Motovun, to Istarske Toplice, a health resort located in central Istria. After a short break and a meal provided for the participants, they’ll head to Livade, Ponte Porton, and back to Vižinada. The last leg of the race – the 6-kilometre ascent from Porte Ponton to Vižinada – is organised as a professional competitive speed race. The other major event, a walking marathon, has an 11-kilometre route from Vižinada to Ohnići village, taking the participants along the former rail line trail. The organisers managed to spice up the sports event with a dash of culture, so the walking marathon includes a break in Božje Polje, where all interested participants will be introduced to the beautiful medieval frescoes in the church of Blessed Virgin Mary. Recreation in gorgeous nature, cultural heritage and the best of local gastronomy – what more can you wish for?
The official programme starts at 9:45 with the mini-Parenzana, a shorter bike race organised for younger kids. The bike race kicks off at 10:00, the walking marathon 15 minutes later; both groups are expected to return around 13:00. Vižinada’s main square will be hosting an entertaining programme throughout the morning.
Applications for both events can be turned in before 9:30 on Sunday in Vižinada; all participants are required to pay a 50 kuna fee, and they will be provided with a t-shirt, multiple meals along the way and a lunch once they arrive back to Vižinada, a ceramic medal, and a small souvenir-gift.
You can find more information here.