The beginning of my sporting career is probably quite different from what you might think. Not that I didn't like sports as a child, I tried a number of sports from gymnastic, footbal (soccer), table tenis and karate, but I didn't show much talent for any of those sports. That is until I sat on the bike! It was pretty late at the age of 17, but I felt right away that this was it. Still, nobody would have believed at that time that this guy would do something in cycling, let alone setting the World Records and winning World Championships...
It was a love at first sight. I have done some longer rides before joining my first cycling club (like riding from my grandma's house in velenje to our home in Ljubljana - 85km for which I needed the whole 6 hours;). Even though the start in racing was hard at first, my hunger for testing the limits of my capabilities started growing inside of me. Bike gave me the new found confidence, as for the first time in my life (outside of school) I felt that nobody can match me. When I sat on my bike, my shyness dissapeared and I became a new Marko. I was never a serial winner as I was not a good sprinter, but with my power I decided lots of races helping my teammates to victories.
With my career as road racer was nearing the end, my wish to test myself at RAAM started growing. Since the day I found out about it (in the early 90s), I felt that this was a race made for me. Even though it was not possible to do it during my career (because of other racing commitments), a dream burned in me.
Race across America in a unique extreme endurance cycling race in which you have to cycle from West to East Coast of USA the fastest you can, without ever stopping the stopwatch. RAAM is around 3000 miles long race that takes place every summer from 1982 when four enthusiasts decided to race from Santa Monica to New York. The first race was called Great American Bike Race (GABR), but the next year they renamed it to RAAM. THe four pioneers of RAAM were: Lon Haldeman (the winner of first two editions), John Howard, Michael Shermer and John Marino. What started as a strange idea of four friends, became the biggest endurance cycle race on the planet. In 1993 the Outside Magazine gathered a group of experts to declare which is the hardest sporting event in the World. With the factors li ethe “Mule Factor”-the distances involved; the ”Forum”-how tough the course is; the “Anguish Index”-how hard the competitors “have to work to convince themselves that what they’re doing is only mildly inane and self-destructive;” and the “O Factor”-a combination of the cost to do the event and the drop out rate, the jury decided RAAM was the most difficult one, "winning" over Vendee Globe Around-the-World Sailing Race and Iditarod Sled Dog Race. In the first 8 most difficult sporting events were also Badwater marath through Death Valley and Hawaian Ironman Triathlon.
From year 2000, when I first set the RAAM qualification, I raced RAAM ten times - nine times as solo competitor (2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2016, 2017 and 2019) and once in a two-person team with Tomaz Percic (2008).
IT IS NOT THE CRITIC THAT COUNTS, NOT THE MAN WHO POINTS OUT HOW THE STRONG MAN STUMBLES. OR WHERE THE DOER OF DEEDS COULD HAVE DONE BETTER. THE CREDIT BELONGS TO THE MAN WHO IS ACTUALLY IN THE ARENA, WHOSE FACE IS MARRED BY DUST AND SWEAT AND BLOOD, WHO STRIVES VALIANTLY, WHO ERRS, AND COMES SHORT AGAIN AND AGAIN, BECAUSE THERE IS NO EFFORT WITHOUT ERROR AND SHORTCOMING, WHO KNOWS THE GREAT ENTHUSIASMS, THE GREAT DEVOTIONS, WHO SPENDS HIMSELF IN A WORTHY CAUSE, WHO AT BEST KNOWS IN THE END THE TRIUMPH OF HIGH ACHIEVEMENT. AND AT WORST, IF HE FAILS, AT LEAST FAILS WHILE DARING GREATLY, SO THAT HIS PLACE SHALL NEVER BE WITH THOSE COLD AND TIRED SOULS WHO KNOW NEITHER VICTORY NOR DEFEAT.
Results from 2020
• 1st place Sebring 12h Cycling Race, February 2020, 275.6 miles
World Records on the Roadi (July 25-26th 2020):
• 100km, 200km, 300km, 500km, 100miles, 200miles, 300miles in 500miles, 6h, 12h,
• 24h - 856,206km (avg speed 35,67km/h);
• 1.000km - 28h 50min 14sec (avg speed 34,67km/h);
Results from 2019
• 1st place Sebring 24h Cycling Race, nad 50 let, 2nd place overall, February 2019,
• 1st place Race across America (solo) nad 50 let, 2nd place overall, June 2019,
• Paris-Brest-Paris n the first group, 44h 48min, August 2019,
• 1st place World Championships 24h Time Trial Borrego Springs (50-59 years), November 2019, 2nd place overall.
Results from 2018
• 1st place Race around Slovenija 2018 4-person team (Melanšek, Rosenstein, Lovše, Marko), 1.200km (new race record), May 2018,
• 1st place Race across the West 2018 (2-person team with Philippe Jodin), June 2018,
• 1st place Tortour solo 2018 in Masters category (4th overall), Race around Switzerland, August 2018,
• 1st place World Championships 24h Time Trial Borrego Springs (50-59years), November 2018, 514,8miles, avg 21,45mph (race record for 50-59 cat), 2nd overall.
Results from 2017
• 1st place Sebring 12h Cycling Race, 276,7miles (new course record), February 2017,
• 5th place Race across America 2017 (solo) overall, 2nd place Masters (50-59), June 2017,
• 1st place Tortour Challenge 2017 Masters (3rd overall), Race around Switzerland, August 2017,
• 1st place World Championships 24h Time Trial Borrego Springs (50-59years), November 2017, 505,2miles, avg 21,05mph.
Results from 2016
• 1st place Sebring 24h Cycling Race, 857,5km (new course record), February 2016,
• 3rd place Race across America 2016 (solo), June 2016,
• 3rd place Slo24Ultra, 24h drafting race in Slovenia, July 2016,
• 1st place World Championships 24h Time Trial Borrego Springs (40-49years), November 2016, 505,2miles, avg 21,05mph.
Results from 2015
• 1st place Sebring 24h Cycling Race, 836km (new course record), February 2015,
• 2nd place Race around Slovenia 2015 (2-person team with Kerry Ryan), May 2015, time 40h 28min (avg 30,9km/h),
• 1st place World Championships 24h Time Trial Borrego Springs, November 2015, 502,1miles, avg 20,92mph.
Results from 2014
• 1st place Sebring 12h Cycling Race, 426km (avg speed 35,5km/h).
• 1st place Race across the West 2014 (solo), June 2014, time 2 days 33min,
• 2nd place TORTOUR (solo), 13.-14. avgustj 2014,
• 2nd place World Championships Masters Road Race,
• 1st place Silver State 508, with the course record 26h 24min (avg 31km/h).
Results from 2013
• 1st place DOS/RAS EXTREME Race around Slovenia 2-person team with Iztok Melanšek, avg speed 32,8km/h (record!),
• 5th place RAAM 2013 (solo), June 2013, time 9 days 9h 51min,
• 4th place TORTOUR (6-članske ekipe), 12.-13.avgustj 2013.
Results from 2012
• 2. place DOS/RAS EXTREME Race around Slovenia, time 1 day 18h 33min,
World Record for 100 milj Time Trial (160,9km) 3h 48min 41sec, average speed42,2km/h,
• 1. place Race across Oregon (RAO), july 2012, time 29h 26min (route record bettered for 4 hours),
• 1. place No Country for Old Men (Texas) 384 miles in time 19h 14 min,
• 1. place World Championships 24h Time Trial, Coachella Valley, CA with 495,7 miles in 24 hours.
Results from 2011
• 1. place Texas Hill Country 600KM, march 2011, time 19h 14 min;
• 1. place DOS/RAS EXTREME Race around Slovenia, may 2011, 1138km in 1d 16h 21min;
• 3. place RAAM 2011 (solo), junij 2011, time 9d 2h 59min;
• 4. place RAP-Race across Pohorje, 9.julij 2011, 350km in 13h 50min,
• 4. place Tortour, august 2011, 1000km in time 37h 04min.
Results from 2010
World records on indoor track (8.-9. oktober 2010):
• 200 miles - 8h 01min 25,92sec (average speed 40,11km/h);
• 12 hours - 475,263km (average speed 39,60km/h);
• 24 hours (the most km done in 24h absolutly in ultra-cycling history!) - 903,765km (average speed 37,66km/h);
• 1.000km - 27h 31min 09sec (average speed 36,34km/h);
• 1. place – Radmarathon RAAM qualifier: 727km in 23h 53min;
• 2. place – Tortour (Race around Switzerland), 1001km in 36h 14min.
Results from 2009
• 4. place Race around Slovenia - RAS 2009, 7.-9. May 2009;
• 3. place RAAM 2009 (solo), June 2009, time 9d 21h 44min;
• 1. place TORTOUR 2009, Non-stop Cycling around Switzerland, August 2009, time 39 h 09 min.
Results from 2008
• WORLD RECORD UMCA for the 24h Time Trial on the track (890,038 km and average speed 37,08 km/h);
• WORLD RECORDS UMCA for the fastest 100miles (4h 00min 29sec), 200miles (8h 17min 08sec) and in 12h Time Trial on the track (460,5km and average speed 38,375 km/h);
• 3. place Race around Slovenia - RAS 2008 = European UMCA Championships, 7.-9.May 2009;
• 1. place Schotz 24h Race, 9.-10. August 2008;
• 1. place RAAM 2-person teams with Tomaz Percic, June 2008.
Results from 2007
• WORLD RECORDS UMCA for the fastest 100miles (4h 1min 12sec), 200miles (8h 17min 59sec) and in 12h Time Trial on the road (458,76km and average speed 38,23 km/h)
• 2. place Race around Slovenia - RAS 2007 = European UMCA Championships
• 2. place GlocknerMan 2007
• Paris-Brest-Paris 2007 - 1.220km in time of 46h 36min,
• 1. place Kainachtal Trophy 2007 24h solo.
Results from 2006
• 1. place KraftwerkTrophy 2006 24h solo with a World Record of 978,75km
• UMCA record in fastest crossing of Slovenia E-W Hodoš - Debeli rtič, 340km in 9h 34min 28sec (average speed 35,54km/h)
• 2. place RAAM 2006 Enduro
• 1. place Kainachtal Trophy 2006 24h solo
Results from 2005
• 2. place Kraftwerk Trophy 24h solo
• RAAM 2005-DNF because of pneumonia after 2.900 km
• 3. place Le Tour Direct 2005
Results from 2004
• 1. place Kraftwerk Trophy 12h race Open Austrian Championship in Krems
• 1. place Marathon Franja category 30-40 years (4. place overall)
• 1. place Furnace Creek 508
Results from 2003
• 1. place Silberreiher Trophy 12h Relay
• RAAM 2003-Withdrawal after 4100 of 4800 ridden kilometers
Results from 2002
• 1. place Silberreiher Trophy 24h Race 2002
• 2. place Race across the Alps 2002
• set two UMCA world records for 12h TT = 452,73km (outdoor track) and fastest 200 miles
• 1. place UMCA 24h TT Championships Iowa 2002, male 26-35 years, 2. overall
Results from 2001
• 2. place Silberreiher Trophy 2001 (16.-17.06.2001) with Slovenian Record for Drafting Race;912,5 km
• 2. place Race across the Alps 2001 (07.-08.07.2001)
National Championships and records
• National Champion in 4km Team Pursuit, velodrome Kranj 1990 (Ugrenovič, Melanšek, Rovšček, Baloh) + NATIONAL RECORD
• National Champion in Solo Time Trial 40km, Nova Gorica 1991 (2. Papez, 3. Bertoncelj, 4. Pintarič)
• National Champion in Team Time Trial 100km, Kranj 1993 (Štangelj, Mervar, Papez, Baloh) and Kranj 1994 (Štangelj, Papez Ugrenovič, Baloh) – the second time in my career with the time of less than 2 hours
• National Champion in Individual Pursuit 4km, velodrome Novo mesto 1997 + NATIONAL RECORD
• National record in 24 hours cycling, 753 km, Kostanjevica na Krki (9.-10.9.2000)