If you’ve got this far, you just might be one of those lucky ones who will be making history by participating in the biggest and richest inline, street, speed skating event in the world.
All competitors have the option of participating in any of the 11 stages – any number of stages and any city that you prefer.
Of course, for those skaters who are keen to test their skills and speed against some of the world’s best, you will elect to enter the entire event and participate in all 11 stages.
Even if you only win 1 of the 11 stages or only take out the bottom prize in a few, the prize money has been structured to basically give you a cost-free holiday in some of the most exotic locations in Europe.
Picture the beautiful marina in Trieste, Italy. It is the starting point of both the Balkan Rendezvous cycling event and also of the Balkan Burning skating event.
Picture also the outer city streets of Athens, skating under the Acropolis in the final stage of the Balkan Burning where celebrations of the end of this month-long event will continue on all night (and probably all morning).
If you go to this page on our website which describes the stages of the Balkan Burning, you will see that of the 11 stages, seven (7) stages are held on either a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
Obviously, it’s not possible to hold all stages on a weekend. It’d be nice but just not possible.
For those cities that host weekday stages, their turn will come in future years when the route of the Balkan Rendezvous cycling event is changed.
For both the cycling and skating, the routes will NOT be the same, most likely altering eleven times before returning to the inaugural route from Trieste to Athens.
In all cases, we are working closely with local transport authorities, local city councils and tourism offices to confirm the exact courses.
Tentatively, these are our present plans, yet to be confirmed and subject to alteration –
Stage 1 begins at the spectacular Trieste marina on a late Friday afternoon.
Stage 2 is held in Ljubljana the next day where the event will be held under the shadow of the 15th century Ljubljana castle.
Stage 3 is held on Sunday around the central square and within a short distance of the Zagreb cathedral, Croatia.
Stage 4 will circumnavigate the famous St. Sava`s Orthodox Cathedral in Belgrade, Serbia on late Tuesday afternoon.
Stage 5 is held on Thursday and follows the inner city course of the Miljacka river in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Stage 6 occurs in Podgorica, Montenegro where we lap the tree-lined central park on a late Sunday afternoon.
Stage 7 on Wednesday we take to the relatively unexplored city of Tiranë, Albania and the National Historic Museum with its wide boulevard.
Stage 8 will witness hundreds of skaters taking several laps around the newly developed Macedonia Square in Skopje on Friday
Stage 9 is held on Saturday in Priština, Kosovo and laps around the Mother Teresa Boulevard
Stage 10 on Monday laps around the National Assembly and Alexander Palace, Sofia, Bulgaria
Stage 11 of course is Athens, Greece under the famous Acropolis where upon completion of the stage, the wild celebrations begin.
There are a lot of factors which could upset our plans.
Because of the huge potential to publicise city tourism, we are negotiating strongly for the above locations and are totally confident that our desires will be met.
Street surface conditions and traffic disruption are the two major major factors taken into account when negotiating with the powers that be.
Time will tell how successful we are and if changes are made to the above locations, you’ll know that we fought very hard for the best possible locations.
Our primary objective is to ensure smooth and safe surfaces for skaters, second comes the tourism value and thirdly, the suitability for filming, then the comfort of spectators. Sorry people, but that’s the way it is.
Whatever happens, it’s just one event that you can’t miss.
Plan your schedule wisely.