This week a handful of cycling messengers finished an alley cat-style stage race, called East Coast Messenger Stage Race (ECMSR), spanning from Boston to Washington DC. Team Wolfpack swept the podium, with Aram Dellalian winning the race with a total accumulated general classification time of 26:21:54.
Dellalian's teammates, Fabian Vazquez and Jon Budinoff took second and third respectively, with respective times of 26:23:30 and 26:49:13.
The first annual event finished Tuesday 26 September after a competitive five days of racing and orienteering inspired by a combination of popular underground urban messenger events and traditional road racing. “I've used the term messenger partly to honor my background and this event's inspiration, and partly to signal to participants the unconventional and largely self-sufficient spirit of my race,” said event promoter Austin Horse.
“Competitive tours have long been the ultimate form of bike racing, or at least the most inspiring,” he said. “Often when I'm racing alone and unsupported on open roads I take courage from the stories of the early years of the grand tours. Over the years people in the messenger community have organized point-to-point races across long distances. A primary goal has been to get everybody from one city to another for some purpose.”
Organizers of the ECMSR limited the field size to 30 messengers, who were categorized individually or as part of a team.
The event will kicked off on September 22 at Revolution Bikes in Boston, Massachusetts. From there messengers made their way to Devils Gear Bike Shop in New Haven, Connecticut. Stage two took riders from New Haven to Times Up! and the Brooklyn Bike Jumble in Brooklyn, New York. Stage three took riders from New York City to the Sweathogs Racing and ReLoad Bags in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The penultimate stage four ran between Philadelphia and the HoldFast and Bmore Fixed in Baltimore, Maryland. The final stage of the five-day event finished in Washington DC on Tuesday.
The USA is no stranger to top-level messenger racing and will host the 2012 Cycle Messenger World Championships in Chicago, Illinois. The event is expected to attract upwards of 800 messengers, as only those who working as bike messengers are eligible for the world title. This year’s Cycle Messenger Championships was held from July 27-31 in Warsaw, Poland.