The 10th DRAG Cherni Vrah cross country competition will be on October 5th this year.
Featuring a climb and descent of 3300 metres and a distance of 42 km the Cherni Vrah (Black Peak) competition remains one of the most challenging cross country races in Bulgaria. Apart from the physical challenge, the race has always been known for its great sporting atmosphere, with participants stopping to help others who are in trouble. The race attracts many clubs and groups of friends to come and enjoy a great day’s racing together.
Starting in Sofia’s upmarket Boyana residential district, the route begins as a pleasant 17 km climb up to the plateau, the flat ‘roof’ of the majestic Vitosha mountain. From here – as anyone who has hiked up the peak of the mountain knows – the uphill route is covered in small stones which are difficult to negotiate. For those who have time to appreciate it (certainly not anyone who is planning on winning a medal!) the views from the peak are breathtaking. A stop here for water or tea is also advisable. The route back downhill takes a different path, finishing back in Boyana, from where the race started.
Last year’s winner in the men’s discipline – Belgian Wouter Cleppe – has won the race three times in total. His record time of 2 hours 21 minutes and 57 seconds may seem unattainable for some but others will be eagerly trying to better it.
Fyodor Dragolov, who rides for DRAG, is the traditional winner in the over 40s veterans age group. As a rule few women go for the gruelling uphill climb followed by a rocky descent – last year 6 women started the race of whom 5 reached the finish line.
This year good weather is predicted for the whole of October, which can be a mixed blessing. Pirin mineral water will be supplying bottles of mineral water for the participants and on hot days a lot of water gets drunk!
Once again this year thanks to our partners Sopharma and Doltcini we are able to produce and give away a souvenir cycling jersey to all participants. Those who sign up before Oct 26th will be able to choose their size.