Mountain bikes were invented by Americans already in the beginning of the eighties, but in Estonia the first bikes appeared only at the end of the nineties. The new type of bikes were well accepted but there was no suitable popular races.
In 1998 the time seemed to be right and taking an example from the famous Norvegian race Birkebeiner-rittet, the first Tartu Rattamaraton was organized. The race follows the course of Tartu (ski)Maraton. For the first years the distances were 63 and 31, just like in cross-country skirace Tartu Maraton. When the first Tartu Rattamaraton started on asphalt, soon the start was taken to a meadow. The aim of the race is to be suitable for every healthy person. The first and the biggest change in the history of Tartu Rattamaraton was done in the fall of 2006, when the distances grew to 87 and 40 km. The change was brought alive because of the grown quality of bikes, skills and training among the participants.
Before the first Tartu Rattamaraton many specialists were rather pessimistic about the success of this kind of a race. But despite that, already the first edition had over 1000 participants. Fast growth within the next years helped Tartu Rattamaraton to reach the level of Tartu Maraton (already 5213 paricipants in 2008) and despite a lot of compiting races in Estonia, none of them has reached such high numbers. As Latvia and Lithuania did not had similar races for a long time, the number of participants from those two countries grow annually.
Since 2002, Tartu Rattamaraton has belonged to the UCI calendar. That makes the race an international sport event. In 2009, exept of the traditional Estonian Championships, the European Champions in MTB Marathon were cleared up.
|year||distance||winner||country||time||ladies' winner (overall rank)||country||time|
|1998||63 km||Alges Maasikmets||EST||1:56.37||Riina Toomis (138)||EST||2:23.07|
|1999||63 km||Andrus Aug||EST||1:55.42||Grete Pedmanson (Treier) (109)||EST||2:13.55|
|2000||63 km||Alges Maasikmets||EST||1:52.25||Riina Toomis (132)||EST||2:05.46|
|2001||63 km||Alges Maasikmets||EST||1:54.55||Grete Pedmanson (Treier) (100)||EST||2:09.47|
|2002||63 km||Sigvard Kukk||EST||1:52.13||Grete Pedmanson (Treier) (50)||EST||2:03.11|
|2003||63 km||Aleksejs Saramotins||LAT||1:50.57||Grete Treier (72)||EST||1:56.44|
|2004||63 km||Caspar Austa||EST||1:48.13||Grete Treier (49)||EST||1:56.40|
|2005||63 km||Aleksejs Saramotins||LAT||1:49.13||Grete Treier (62)||EST||1:55.37|
|2006||87 km||Jaan Kirsipuu||EST||2:41.25||Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesja (33)||NOR||2:46.47|
|2007||87 km||Jaan Kirsipuu||EST||2:50.56||Laura Lepasalu (125)||EST||3:16.49|
|2008||89 km||Jaan Kirsipuu||EST||2:42.49||Ivanda Eiduka (113)||LAT||3:03.55|
|2009||89 km||Allan Oras||EST||2:34.53||Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesja (83)||NOR||2:51.38|
|2010||89 km||Tanel Kangert||EST||2:50.44||Ivanda Eiduka (174)||LAT||3:35.30|
|2011||89 km||Tanel Kangert||EST||2:30.47||Maaris Meier (117)||EST||2:52.58|
|2012||89 km||Erki Pütsep||EST||2:38.54||Lelde Ardava (119)||LAT||3:04.16|
|2013||89 km||Erki Pütsep||EST||2:32.26||Dana Rozlapa (104)||LAT||2:49.21|
|2014||89 km||Andzs Flaksis||LAT||2:29.11||Janelle Uibokand (220)||EST||2:54.20|
|2015||89 km||Peeter Tarvis||EST||2:34.25||Liisa Ehrberg (127)||EST||2:49.10|
|2016||89 km||Andzs Flaksis||LAT||2:35:33||Lelde Ardava (107)||LAT||2:50:29|