The Team

The circumstances under which the whole EVM adventure started weren’t the most pleasant. It took time to bring together some great people and now with the common goals in place – we will make it all happen.
If you read this and you think you can help, please do not hesitate to join us! An extra brain or pair of hands is always good.

Ekaterina Belcheva

Daughter of Mladen Belchev and the older sister of 4, I have always looked after the younger ones. From as soon as I was born my father used to take me with him to sports halls and events. I have also tried training in sports but never pursued anything seriously.

Today I cycle, run, swim, roller blade and I am always interested to try new sports. But I cannot compare with the passion and persistence my father committed to sports.

I have been living in London since 2003 and since 2007 I run Ultimately Eco Cleaning Ltd – a professional healthy, ethical and green cleaning business in London.

I am currently on a business growth programme called 10 thousand small businesses with Goldman Sachs Foundation and UCL to help me grow the business into a social enterprise or cleaning partnership.

Nikolai Kolev

A very good friend of the family Belchevi who has always inspired awe with his incredible wit and incredible sense humour, wisdom and ideas.

Niki was a vice mayor of his hometown Alfatar for a mandate or two. He looks after his parents who help him bring up his daughter Boriana, who also will participate in the velo marathon.

Niki currently runs a restaurant in Alfatar and is planning to build the first ever eco-friendly motel in Bulgaria. Niki is actively promoting the EVM and he is the one to thank for getting us into the Hour of Milen Tsvetkov.

Elitsa Ivanova

Eli was introduced to the European Velo Marathon by her mother a colleague of Ekaterina. Eli is studying Accounting in Varna, Bulgaria and has been responsible for research and promotion of the marathon.

She made wonderful crepes and has been an incredible asset in organising fundraising events.

Eli will join us when she successfully takes all her examinations.

Sebastian Achaibou

Cycles everywhere and is a proactive cycling campaigner, bike mechanic and cycling instructor. He volunteers for Bicycology, 56A The Bike space in Elephant and Castle, the London Bike Kitchen and for ecotopia bike tours. Seb’s partner Marie was killed in a road crash in June 2008. Ever since he has been helping her family and helping bring justice for Marie.

Seb and Ekaterina met in Brockwell park in 2008 at the Urban Green Fair, where Seb was with Bicycology helping them run the stand and inspire people to cycle.

Seb will take part both in organising and participating in the EVM. He is a fully trained cycling instructor and has fixed bikes almost as long as riding them. Seb speaks English, French, some Italian and German.

Hristo Pantaleev

A friend of Mladen Belchev. They cycled together in several bike rides in Bulgaria. Hristo has helped to choose and prepare most of the itinerary for the EVM and will be one of the main guides during the velo marathon.

Hristo has a daughter and is working on completing his Phd in Chemistry.

Hristo cycled from Wien to Bulgaria last year so we will heavily rely on his experience. Hristo speaks Bulgarian, English, German and Russian.

Dorotea Marinova

Dori and Ekaterina lived together while studying in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria in 2000, where they became good friends.

Dori is a strong believer in all things sustainable and cycles daily. She is a Thai masseuse and will be offering massage at +tova on 20 March 2012 to raise funds for the marathon.

Dori’s website is She is also a coordinator for EVM in Bulgaria.

Bruce MacDougall

Bruce MacDougall met Ekaterina at the February meeting of Southwark Cyclists. He was there not by chance but because he lost his cousin in a road accident in London in 2011. Ellie died in December 2011 after being hit by a lorry.

Ever since her family have been trying to prevent other cyclists from being injured and dying by HGVs on the streets of London and big cities where occurrences like that happen often.

Bruce will join us at some point during the marathon but in the meantime he is busy sorting out the website. And he is doing a fantastic job so far! There are not enough words to thank him!