Tuesday, 3 May 2022

Međimurje's Biggest-Ever Sporting Event: Tehnix FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Croatia A Success!

May 3, 2022 - At the biggest sporting event in Međimurje's history, 6,500 fans from all over the world cheered for their favorite motorcycle riders at the sold-out Millennium Stadium in Donji Kraljevec for the Tehnix FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Croatia.

After 23 runs, the best was Bartosz Zmarzlik from Poland, two-time world champion and runner-up for 2021!


After the final qualification race for the World Championship was held at the Millennium Stadium for two years, Međimurje hosted 16 of the best riders in the world last weekend. The wild card went to the best Slovenian driver Matej Žagar, the winner of these qualifications. The two reserves were domestic riders from Slovenia and Hungary, Nick Škorja and Dennis Fazekas.


Twelve days of construction, 14 production trucks, four television houses, and the work of almost 200 members of the production and organizational team culminated in a painting of Međimurje to the world. Over 40 countries broadcasted the first World Speedway Championship race, TEHNIX FIM SPEEDWAY GRAND PRIX OF CROATIA.

Doyle, Holder, Dudek, and Lambert faced off in the first run, and the first victory of the evening went to Lambert, whose pre-season training in Croatia paid off. Nick Škorja got on the track in the third run to the delight of almost a thousand Slovenian fans when the Danish driver Anders Thomsen started too early and tore the starting line.


“This was one of the best Grand Prix races ever. The riders took advantage of every inch of the track, and we witnessed the spectacular rides of the best in the world! The organization of such an event is very complex and exhaustive, especially because this was the first race for the promoter after they took over the license from FIM. Nevertheless, we gave our best, and I think it was visible to every viewer live and on television. We are honored and proud to have organized the biggest event in the history of Međimurje and Croatian motorcycling," said race director Darija Pavlic.

Matej Žagar was extremely combative as a wild card and ended the evening with third place in the second semifinal run. Great rides launched him into an elite group of just 11 riders in the history of the Grand Prix competition, with over 1000 points won.

"Thank you to the organizer for the invitation. It is a great honor to ride on a track that I know well and where the atmosphere is always special. I feel at home and thank the whole Pavlic family and the club for their hospitality. Great track and organization, which is why I hope that the Grand Prix tradition will continue here," said Matej Žagar after the race.


To the delight of hundreds of Polish fans and the crowded Millennium Stadium, the winner of the race was Polish rider and multiple world champion Bartosz Zmarzlik!

"It feels great, even though I'm tired. We had the Polish league on Friday, covered over 1,000 kilometers, and arrived just in time for training," said Zmarzlik. "At the beginning, I felt a bit insecure on this track, but after four runs, everything was sorted. I am happy to have won tonight. The trail in Donji Kraljevec is short, I didn't feel safe in the corners at first, but after we warmed up, everything was great."

Maciej Janowski finished second, ninth in the qualifications and was the second-best before the semifinals:

“I felt great from the beginning of training. We hit some issues with the engine, maybe it was not seen in the qualifications, but when we got to the race, everything went well."


European champion Mikkel Michelsen opened his season on this track at a training camp with the Danish national team:

"I am happy the season started with entering the finals. Of course, you always want to win when you get that chance, but the season is long, we are collecting points, and I am satisfied with the race!"

The award for the first place was presented to Bartosz Zmarzlik by the State Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism and Sports Sandra Herman, the award for the second place to Maciej Janowski was presented by the Deputy Director of FIM, World Motorcycle Federation Damiano Zamana, and the award for the third place was presented by Tehnix Eko industry Željko Horvat.

Francois Ribeiro, director of Discovery Sports Events, owner of the rights to organize Speedway Grand Prix races for the next ten years, also watched the race from the stands:

"I’m sure thousands of fans enjoyed the great speedway. Our goal was to offer additional experience through LED screens, fan zones, and new statistics. We are all looking forward to the next race in Warsaw on May 14."

Photos by Marko Kis

To read more about sports in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Friday, 29 April 2022

Speedway Fans from All Over World Coming to Millennium Stadium on April 30!

April 29, 2022 - Powerful motorcycles will thunder at the Tehnix FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Croatia at the Millennium Stadium in Međimurje in just a few days.

Acceleration greater than that of a Formula 1 car, without brakes, powered by methanol, with over 80 horsepower, and 500cc are ridden in the speedway for a spectacle just as impressive as their fearless riders.

"We are happy that the Grand Prix has returned to Croatia and that the new season of speedway racing is starting from our region, where this is a sport with a long history," said race director Darija Pavlic. "The 16 best riders in the world will arrive at the Millennium Stadium on Friday, April 29. We are logistically and mentally ready for the biggest sports spectacle that Međimurje has ever had the opportunity to host."


Apart from many world televisions, the race will be broadcast live by Sports Television (SPTV), and on the second day, you can watch it on HRT at 5:30 pm, with commentators Stjepan Balog and Darija Pavlic. The global promoter and media giant Discovery Sports Events took good care to transfer the image of Međimurje and Croatia to about forty countries around the world, from the USA to Australia. Over 80 journalists and photographers have been accredited, which will significantly increase the visibility of continental Croatia as a sports and tourist destination.

François Ribeiro, Head of Discovery Sports Events, commented: “It is a pleasure to start a new era of Speedway GP in Croatia, and we are glad to be able to show FIM Croatian Speedway GP live to television audiences in cooperation with SPTV, as well as show the most interesting moments to HRT viewers. I know that the race in Donji Kraljevec has always been fierce, and it is challenging to predict the winner for this year's introductory round. However, an epic evening and an attractive race on SPTV await the spectators, and we are looking forward to many Croatian sports fans having the opportunity to see how exciting the race is when the Speedway GP 2022 season starts on April 30 at the Millennium Speedway Stadium."

Millennium Stadium and loyal fans are used to world-class races, as this track has twice in a row decided on who will qualify for the Grand Prix 2019 and 2020 through the SGP Challenge. Matej Žagar won this race, this year's wild card that brings an army of Slovenian fans, which will surely warm up the atmosphere in the stands.


The track is ready for real races that will surely get the audience on their feet, said Jurica Pavlic, who has been preparing it for over a month since the last pre-season training ended. The popular Jura, a synonym for speedway in this part of Croatia, is in charge of the technical aspect of racing, and he is also the author of the trophy for the best three riders.

"I made three cups together with my friend Nikola Lepoglavac from the company "Klima LS" and Andrej Kežman from the company "Marti," also from Prelog. All three cups are unique products, and in the beginning, we had a problem because the first version weighed 25 kilograms, but we managed to make them lighter. I will be honored that the best three from the Croatian GP will take our Cup, which will always remind them of Croatia."


The Millennium Stadium opens its doors on Saturday from noon, and at 13:00, the official training and qualifications for the main race begin. Then, from 16:30, fans can get autographs of the riders while the start of the race is at 19:00.


Tickets will also be available at the entrance to the stadium; children under 12 have free admission, while some grandstands are entirely sold out.

To read more about sports in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Wednesday, 20 April 2022

Tehnix FIM Speedway Grand Prix in Donji Kraljevec: A Not-to-Miss Motorcycle Event in Croatia

April 20, 2022 - Sixteen of the world's best speedway drivers are coming to Croatia in just over one week to open the new championship season: Tehnix FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Croatia!

"We expect a full stadium with more than 6,500 fans and millions of spectators watching TV screens around the world. In addition, the image from Međimurje is broadcast on the Discovery Sports Events signal to as many as 40 countries, and it is up to us to make the best possible presentation of Međimurje and Croatia," said the race director and FIM representative, Darija Pavlic.


"10 years have passed since the last Grand Prix race, and we are looking forward to hosting the beginning of a new speedway era!"

Patryk Dudek is one of the drivers who is expected to fight for the finals:

“I drove the European Championship in Croatia and the qualifications for the World Championship! The track suits me; it's not long, the bends are narrow, and there will be good rides!"

Along with Dudek, the Brits rely on Robert Lambert, who, along with Woffinden, is a candidate for world champion:

"I am looking forward to returning to Croatia; I can't wait for the full stands at the beautiful Millennium Stadium. I’ve done qualifiers here a few times, I often train at the Millennium Stadium, and I feel comfortable on that track. I am glad that Croatia is the host of the opening of the Speedway Grand Prix season."


Seventy tons of equipment arrived from Poland, installed by a hundred workers. In addition, TV production is being prepared, recorded by 24 HD cameras, transmitting the image to 40 countries worldwide.

Discovery Sports Events is responsible for everything.

"With so much equipment, 120 professionals will arrive in Međimurje to ensure that the new speedway era begins in the best possible way. Tehnix FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Croatia will greatly promote Croatian hospitality, the Međimurje landscape, and sports that we all love," said Darija Pavlic.

Slovenian ace Matej Žagar will wear starting number 16. 

"We at AZMS are happy that Matej Žagar was given the opportunity to show what he knows in the race for the World Championship. Although he did not secure his place among the top 15 last season, he still got a chance to show that he is still at the top of the world. I believe that he will use his experience on this track, in a place where he often celebrated and achieved top results," said Luka Mežan from the Auto Moto Association of Slovenia.


"AMZS and Slovenia will have another competitor along with Matej. Nick Škorja is a reserve who lacks experience in this competition rank. Still, we are sure he will use his opportunity," said Luka and continued: "The race in Croatia is an opportunity for all Slovenian fans to come and support Matej and Nick. The Millennium Stadium is a place where there is always a good speedway, and it will be the same on April 30."

The main grandstand is sold out, but there are still tickets available at Milenium Stadium in Donji Kraljevec on April 30th!

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 15 April 2022

5 Things To Do in Međimurje this Summer

April 15, 2022 - Looking for the best things to do in Međimurje this summer? 

Međimurje, a region between Hungary and Slovenia, just a short ride to Austria, is a crown of Croatia. It's a region of healthiness, events, and attractions; it's a doorway to central Europe in one direction and just a short stop to the Adriatic in another.

The summer in Međimurje starts in April, and it begins with a blast. One of the year's biggest events is held on the 30th of April, and it's the Tehnix FIM SPEEDWAY GRAND PRIX OF CROATIA. A long name suggests the power, the sound, and the ferocity of the speedway bikes that will race at the track in Međimurje. Sixteen of the World's best riders will compete to win in the first race of the season, a race that marks the new dawn of speedway.


Dino Lesar

A new promoter, a return to Croatia at the start of the season, and a grand finale in Australia all but guarantee the proper marking of the 100 years of speedway! Tickets are available at entrio.hr - hurry, or you'll miss the race!

In May, we return to Čakovec to promote health and fitness; Red Bull Wings for Life World Run will have one of it's virtual running starts in Čakovec on the 8th of May! Register and run for a good cause here: https://www.wingsforlifeworldrun.com/en/locations/cakovec/



With many concerts and events coming back in May, the crew behind Forestland Festival will do a venue swap and hold an event called „Forest Castle“ in the ancient fort of the Zrinski family, now known as the Treasury of Međimurje. A stellar lineup will see the return of Felver to Čakovec with his dark disco sound and a techno DJ Tijana T. An artist that performed from Berlin's Bergheim, at the Boiler Room, from Ibiza to Shangai. As a regional artist, she's known to be a part of Felver and Dixon's Stereotip, and it's clear that her set will make the ancient castle walls echo with melody and purity of sound.

Running returns to Međimurje in June as a traditional 10k run marks the first day of Summer. On the 21st of June, a thousand runners will race around the castle Zrinski, around the centuries-old park, and through the dusky streets of Čakovec on what's become a traditional run. Do something different this Summer; enter it by running! www.ck10.run


Julien Duval

July is, by tradition, a festival month in Međimurje. 2022 marks the 10th anniversary of the electronic music festival FORESTLAND. Organised by a group of friends, Forestland Festival quickly grew from a niche boutique music gathering to a full-blown music festival with 48 hours of music, dancing, and good summer emotions. In a decade, the Forestland became a place to be in the summer, where you forget everything and enjoy the excellent music, stroll with friends through forests or thick sunflower fields. Yet, when the night drops, the energetic music starts, and you lose yourself.

This summer, the festival will hold four stages and 200 hours of music and host almost 70 artists during a single weekend in July. No one will sleep, that we can promise. www.forestland.hr

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 13 April 2022

Tehnix FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Croatia in Donji Kraljevec on April 30!

April 13, 2022 - Speedway's 100th anniversary begins in Međimurje when it will host the Tehnix FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Croatia on April 30!

After ten years, the World Speedway Championship returns to Međimurje, to the Millennium Stadium, where the 16 best drivers in the world will compete. Last season's runner-up Bartosz Zmarzlik leads drivers from all over the world, but also a representative of the host, Slovenian champion Matej Žagar, who will drive as a wildcard. In addition, two reserve drivers come from Hungary and Slovenia, Nick Skorija and Denis Fazekas.


"We expect a sold-out stadium, about 7,000 visitors, of which 3,500 tourists will spend the night from Zagreb to Sv. Martin and record 20,000 overnight stays during this event alone," said Darija Pavlic, the director of the Tehnix FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Croatia and a representative of the FIM World Motorcycle Federation, when presenting one of the largest sporting events in Croatia this year. 

"This will also be an opportunity to celebrate 17 years of our stadium in Donji Kraljevec, after which Warsaw and Prague will host the GP until the 11th race in Australia," the director added, thus making it clear that the Međimurje race is on the calendar of other major world centers. Furthermore, the quality was recognized by FIM and the new promoter Discovery Sport Event as the owners of Eurosport, which will broadcast the speedway and the image of Međimurje to 40 countries around the world.

State Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism and Sports Sandra Herman continued praising the Pavlic family. The entire team gathered at the Speedway Club Millennium for the strong desire, will, and knowledge to organize such competitions.

"I am glad that we are coming to this mega event for Croatia after the break, as such sports events greatly contribute to the development of tourism, especially in the continent. We all know that our successful athletes are the best promoters of the whole country. This race is crucial for the development of continental tourism, and we are delighted that all accommodation capacities in Međimurje and neighboring counties are already filled. We will always encourage such events, and our new tourism development strategy until 2030 emphasizes the development of sports tourism and active vacations in the coming period," said Herman.

Međimurje County Prefect Matija Posavec especially commented on the pride that this race would be held in 2022, when Međimurje was the first to win the European Region of Sport title.


"There are several basic reasons why this event is of special importance; one is certainly how this great spectacle is held in Međimurje, which proudly bears the title of sports region, while the other is that the race is held on Međimurje County Day, or April 30. In addition, this gives us the chance to promote our identity and values and be more recognizable throughout Europe and the world. The added value is that it also marks 100 years of the speedway. Here we have a team of people who are perhaps the only ones in Međimurje and Croatia who are the real promoters of the speedway as a sport. Thank you, Zvonko, Jura, and Darija," Posavec emphasized and invited everyone to the race on Međimurje County Day.

Zvonimir and Jurica Pavlic are the sports hosts and responsible for the stadium, the track, and the processes. They proudly announced that the track would be prepared in the best possible way to the satisfaction of all drivers. Although the celebrated driver decided to end his career, Jura emphasized that this is not forgotten and that adrenaline will pull him to the track. He mentioned how nice it is to watch from the outside and prepare the track for his friends and colleagues.

"Our goal is to prepare the track so that the race is as even as possible so that the audience enjoys all the fights and one attractive speedway day," added Jura.

Zvonimir pointed out how proud he is that young people took the helm.

"What I can say is that I am happy that the organization is committed to quality and good hands, but also that it has been proven that after the speedway, there will be - a speedway. Both Jura and I were competitors, so as a driver, I can say that the event awaits us, something that will be remembered," said Pavlic, announcing the technically extremely demanding preparations and the race itself.

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.