Markéta (Peggy) Marvanová just took first place in the women’s category and fourth place overall at the 2023 Trans Balkan Race, finishing with a time of 5 days, 11 hours, and 37 minutes. Learn more about her impressive ride here…

Words by Beatrice Mezzena Lona, photos by Trans Balkan Race media crew

Markéta (Peggy) Marvanová is the first female finisher and fourth overall at this year’s Trans Balkan Race! She concluded the route at 19:37 local time yesterday, completing the Trans Balkan Race 2023 in 131 hours and 37 minutes. Peggy started in the back of the peloton and slowly earned her way to the front. She says she’s not a fast rider, but she’s consistent and determined. Peggy is not new to bikepacking races: she’s the youngest rider to have completed the Tour Divide in 2015 at 20 years old, and in 2017, she was the woman’s race winner.

Peggy 2023 trans balkan win
  • Peggy 2023 trans balkan win
  • Peggy 2023 trans balkan win

Arriving at the checkpoints, she said she found the atmosphere so welcoming, cozy, and hospitable that she could have easily spent a couple of hours there. Better get back on the bike quickly! She overtook Jan Hendrik Oldenhave (#65) at CP2, and they met again in Žabljak, 150 kilometers from the finish line. Jan said he didn’t really care about positions, and a fourth or ninth position didn’t make a difference for him. Peggy had quite a different opinion. “I’m a racer. Being eighth is fine, but fourth is much better. I’ll be there first!”

Peggy 2023 trans balkan win

She only slept a few hours per night, with a total stop time of 18 hours throughout the event. When she couldn’t find a suitable spot on the fourth night, she stopped under a tree: “It’s not as comfortable as Leonardo in The Revenant, but it will do for me.” Peggy had huge expectations, as she’d heard a lot about Trans Balkan Race and dreamed of riding it. Now that she’s at the finish line, she’ll need a few days to process this unbelievable adventure! Congrats to Peggy on her first-place finish and all the other riders still out pedaling their way toward the finish.

Related Content

Make sure to dig into these related articles for more info...



Event Recaps

Please keep the conversation civil, constructive, and inclusive, or your comment will be removed.