ECMC Madrid

Spanish police loves bikes.

After being in Budapest last year we couldn’t miss the ECMC in Madrid this year. So I took a plane and jumped to the beautiful and sunny Madrid. The program was rich starting with the alleycat on friday. I then reach the meeting point at CSA “La Tabacalera”, got registered and started waiting for the alley to start.

a guy from California spent some time doing nice and clear tricks

To be true there was noting to relax, my headset decided to brake shortly after registration during the final set up and I had a few minutes of panics while searching a new one. I eventually solved the issue thanks to the bike workshop located in the courtyard of “La Tabacalera”. Awesome!

can you see the workshop on the left? is a nice one.

At 8pm we were ready to start, checkpoints were told us before the start and we would have discovered the correct order while racing. I knew little about madrid and I was quite scared from the distance on the map.

the trip was like that!. I reached the first check point easily and after that I found a nice spanish guy running like hell and decided to follow him. That was a good choice because the guy was smart, fast and , above all, knew Madrid perfectly. After a breathless 28 km rush we reached again “la Tabacalera” and I was really surprised to being in 17th position! We were more than 60 on the starting line! Those are satisfactions! Thanks to you unnamed madrid guy with the white brakeless bike (sorry, I’m no good with names).

alleycats are also a question of luck…

but no time for glory or restore, the day after we were ready for the dirty roads of park Juan Carlos 1°. This was the field for the main race. At 9am I was awake, electrified for the race that was waiting me, at 9.30am I was on my bike reaching prudently (after my girl’s recommendation) the park, at 9.35 I was hit by a car crossing the zebra lines with green light. I was so focused on the imminent competition that I could hardly watch the guy begging forgiveness, I was only looking at the bike. I was fine and the bike too, so I said something no sense in italian to the guy and just fly away.

the course

I was a little bit shacking after my date with the red car but I relaxed really soon checking the course. Madrid’s guys did an amazing job, the path to follow was clearly highlighted and there were a lot of things to do around it: stairs, walking zone, uphill, downhill, sandy path and locking points. shortly after midday the first run was ready to start. Two runs of 40 peoples were about to sweat in the burning madrid’s afternoon.

first run participants

The first run start and we had to wait 20 minutes before our turn, in the meantime I was enjoying biker’s creativity

a sinister name for a bike

a clear message

some aggressive graphics

After a while a guy from the first hit came back with a destroyed tyre and a scratched knee, apparently he had some problem on a downhill part, something went wrong with the skid and he tried to save himself with the old shoe move but with no results.

No time for sympathy because my run was about to start.

The manifest was composed by 2 groups of pick ups and drop off wit a total of 10 delivery points over 8 checks. The worst thing was the temperature and the walking zone but I kind of figure out the best way to solve all the struggles and manage to finish the race in 1 hour and 4 minutes. This time I was surprised even more than the day before! I didn’t know my position but I was in a good one. Unfortunately I couldn’t participate to the final anyway since I had planned a very important lunch on sunday afternoon, the one with my maybe-in-the-future-parents-in-law! I couldn’t imagine to reach the final so I just communicate my withdrawal to the organizers and left miserably the course.
The day after I knew I was 10th of my run.
But guys, no time for regrets Warsaw is waiting..

More infos (and the final classification) at: ECMC Madrid 2011 and some pictures here.

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