Therese on the CMWC XV race-course
19.08.07 by Buffalo Bill
I asked Therese to write up her impressions of the CMWC XV racecourse for Moving Target because
‘You see, I wasn’t really there. I merely stood in a wet field drinking beer and yelled verbal abuse back at Dirk’, said Bill.
I am slightly bewildered but I agree to write up something for MT. Surely, this is what is generally taking place at a Messenger Courier Championships? The drinking and ensuing general air of madness is an integral part of the extended weekend. In fact, as you will know, it is a discipline in its own right once the ‘£1 a can Off Licence’ is located on foreign soil. This is no mainstream sporting competition. Less carbs and banana diet and more liquid intakes.
You, dear reader, will no doubt have more intoxicating tales to tell than me. And what I will remember of Dublin 2007 is hardly confined to the hours on the racecourse. But I suspect that the ‘something’ Bill is asking for is a review of the race, which he missed.
And let’s take this opportunity to introduce a trivia quiz on MT.
Bill missed his plane and therefore the race due to :
a) The airport had moved location. It is now situated in the Midlands.
b) Bill went to the wrong airport. Meaning Ryan Air plane departing to Ireland was not departing from airport to which Bill travelled.
c) The plane took off from the wrong airport. Ryan Air budget airline has recently cut budgets further. Cuts have meant less briefing of essential staff. As a direct consequence, a number of ‘wrong’ airport take offs have been reported.
I liked the racecourse. April [Sauerwein, DC] said it: this was the most stunning of environments. Landscaped park with acres of the green stuff that they call nature as opposed to our natural environment of tarmac and exhaust. But the beautiful surroundings of the park lost a bit of their charm in the never-ending downpour. Wet was not a relative term on the day of the final.
The racecourse was a mixture of on and off the road. The off road bits steep and slippery in the long wet grass and what were pathways in the morning were deep muddy tracks by the time the race got underway. I am not sure how riders managed with their fixed geared bikes. My race bike with 700C x 23 slick race tyres was hardly ideal for the course, but I would have struggled with the gearing, the handling and braking on a track bike.
And during the 10-something seconds, hurling, sliding, freewheeling down towards the finish; my ass heavily placed on the seat to get some kind of traction, I managed to catch my breath. Valuable 10 seconds.
The race was 40 percent speed, 50 percent thinking and 10 percent luck. Making a mistake, you could get severely slapped and punished with another extra lap around the course. This could cost dear in minutes and not seconds.
I did have to stop to have a good look at my manifest. Out of breath, with blood seemingly pounding in my head and less in my chest. And with the additional agitation of riders whizzing by, it seemed like an eternity before I had a route worked out. Go-go-go! How it feels so contra-intuitive to stop.
Biggest tip: You most definitely did not want to go to the BMEF checkpoint more times than necessary. BMEF involved a short but steep climb, long narrow, muddy path.
When you ascend, you have to descend. What goes up must come down. This time dismounted and on foot. For some this looked athletic, elegant and controlled like the best competitors in Cyclocross. For others, this certainly felt and must have looked like a jerky tumble towards the tarmac at the bottom.
I had fun. Lots of it. The cheering along the racecourse, cajoling and silliness at checkpoints. Racing combined with the ability to think on the go; making speedy pickups and deliveries. The rain? The rain didn’t matter at this point.
Therese Bjorn finished 3rd overall in the final of CMWC XV.