The European Cycle Messenger Championship will take place in the last weekend of May. This championship is remarkable as this year it celebrates 20th anniversary. The cycle couriers of Ltd “Velokurjers” Vilmārs Vincans, Peter Janisels and Janis Steins have decided to participate in the championship to challenge their skills. The team of Ltd “Velokurjers” will took part in the international cycling championships the 5th time- before, we have represented Latvia in 3 World Championships in Warsaw, Chicago and Lausanne, as well as in the European Championship in Stockholm.

Original races and events are organized in addition to traditional disciplines such as Cargo (transportation of large parcels), Sprint (high speed race of 200m), Alley cat (a race with orientation elements) and the Main Race (courier work simulation). For example, a mountain sprint (riding a steep hill) took place in Switzerland two years ago, but an arm-wrestling competition to determine the strongest arms in contrast to other contests, which evaluate the strength of legs and work skills, was added in Stockholm last year. The arm-wrestling competition was won by our cycle messenger Martins Ozols.

The organizers of the championship, Italian colleagues as fans of team sports, included a unique teem orienteering competition in which the dispatchers also participated together with couriers in the programme. Several group tours and excursions are anticipated- the representatives of Ltd “Velokurjers” will visit the Ghisallo cycling museum, will ride on the legendary Monza F1 track and will welcome the cyclists of Giro d`Italia, which will finish in Milan on Sunday.

So far the Latvian team had the biggest success in Warsaw in 2011, where our courier Janis Beleckis won the title of World championship in cargo class. He also was awarded with a new bicycle for the most positive attitude towards customers in Lausanne in 2013, while the cycle messenger Peter Janisels debuted with the 20th place in the final main race (orienteering) in contest with 349 participants in Stockholm last year. We hope that there will be no problems with the equipment of our participants and that they will have successful results in the championship also this year!

International cycle courier championships have been being held since 1993, when the first World Championship race was organized by cycling messengers Achim Baer and Stefan Klesmans in Berlin, but the first European Championship took place in 1996. Since then the championships have been held in different countries each year, bringing together around five hundred cycle couriers from all continents. The championships are the largest city cycling culture events for cycle messengers in which the most powerful, fastest and agilest couriers meet once a year to check their ability to perform daily tasks of their work.

The World and European Cycle Messenger Championships are organized by the cycle courier companies of the host city and local cycling activists in cooperation with the International Federation of Cycle Messengers and its members (IFBMA, www.messengers.org). Although most participants are cycle couriers the event is open to everybody who wants to test their cycling, orientation, communication skills through a variety of tasks done by messengers daily in city environment.

The championships have become a traditional cycling culture development forums where messengers from all the Europe meet and exchange experiences, learn about the latest trends in cycle messenger and cycling culture, as well as the solutions used in other cities to make the urban environment more friendly for cyclists.

The official website of ECMC: http://www.ecmc2015.com

In the photo: the participants of the European Cycle Messenger championship Vilmārs and Janis are departing to ECMC 2015 in Milan