The 22-year-old Macedonian cyclist Kiril Markovski became the national champion of Macedonia in Cyclo-Cross. He is one of the promising talents of the cyclist sport in Macedonia.
While sports like handball, basketball and – especially since the Macedonian national team qualified itself for the European Championship 2021 – football are widely established and followed by people in Macedonia, others yet don’t enjoy such popularity. The sport of cycling is one of them. However, there are still talents to watch and success stories to find. That’s why in this months’ VOICES edition, we take the chance to portray Kiril Markovski, one of Macedonia’s promising cycling talents. With his 22 years, he already won several competitions in different forms of bicycle races including national championships. But let’s have a look at how everything began.
His passion for bicycles already started earlier, but things were taking shape in 2015 when an initial event took place: “I came back from training, I turned on the TV and the cycling race was on it. As I recall, there was the streaming of Tour de France, and I remember Mark Cavendish winning that dramatic finish. At that same moment, I said to myself, ‘tomorrow I will enter the cycling club and start racing’. Just like that”.That’s when Kiril joined the cycling club EBTS and things started to get serious.
From that point, it took him only one year to win the title of the junior state champion of Macedonia in Cross-Country Olympic (XCO) cycling at the age of 18. XCO is a mountain biking discipline, where riders are required to complete a certain number of laps on a short circuit. This victory also allowed Markovski to participate in the Balkan Championship 2016 in Montenegro in mountain biking where he was able to finish at 6th place out of 30 participants.
But Kiril didn’t commit himself to mountain biking only. As early as 2017, he started to try out another type of cycling, namely road cycling, which soon became his second passion. He became the leader of the club Velo-M and participated in many races. Besides national ones he also took part in international road cycling races in Cyprus, Serbia, Bulgaria and Albania.
Eventually, on February 28th this year, Kiril won the Macedonian championship in Cyclo-Cross, a form of bicycle race that consists of many laps of a short course, includes different grounds and even requires carrying the bike on some points. After this success, Kiril will focus on his next professional goal – becoming the national champion in mountain biking.
But even though Markovski’s achievements sound like the perfect foundation for a bright professional future, the cyclist also admits that he sees limits related to his country: “Investments in sport here in Macedonia are not enough and races abroad are very rare, which confirms the fact that we are far from success on an international basis”. When asked to compare the conditions for a cyclist to other countries, he said that “there is no comparison, neither in terms of organizing events, races, conditions, nor in club support. We as cyclists try to do our best but we do not have any benefit from it”.
But this doesn’t discourage Markovski to always try his best, because after all, cycling is his passion. Besides competitions and professional Goals, Kiril also creates his personal challenges. One of his biggest achievements was covering 600km within 24 hours. And he already has his next challenge in mind, namely cycling a hill up and down on a single activity as many times until he reaches the distance of 8848m – it’s called Everesting.
The presence of people like Kiril is important to promote underrepresented sports like cycling and to become examples for young people to look at and get inspired by.