On the day that the most epic edition of Paris - Roubaix for 20 years was ridden, around the city of Münster they celebrate the "Tag der Einheit" with another cycling race: the Sparkassen Münsterland Giro. Just like the Deutschland Tour, Rund um Köln, Hamburg Cyclassics and Eschborn-Frankfurt (formerly known as Rund um den Henninger Turm) the Münsterland Giro also has a “Jedermann Rennen”. And that is always a treat for gran fondo riders in Germany: completely closed and beautiful roads, perfect organization and outstanding ambiance.
Still, there were some question marks this year. Of course, there were the prevailing COVID measures that caused some stress in the last days before the start because of ambiguity about whether or not to test. But especially the weather forecasts were followed with suspicion. A lot of rain and wind was predicted. And unfortunately forecasters were not far off on October 3rd. So it promised to be a heroic edition in the Münsterland. I was curious how that would turn out in a gran fondo that is normally known for its high average speeds.
CycloWorld went to Münster with 5 riders, partly at the invitation of the organization. Karen, Eveline, Wouter, Herman and Marcel got ready at 9:30 am for a 130 km ride with a few difficult sections (700m+ in total), stormy winds and rain. Fortunately, heaven did not open completely and it was only drizzling all day. However, the wetness was enough to get completely soaked, with black legs, arms and face and worn-out cycling socks.
A big advantage of Germany, as the largest producer of wind energy in Europe, is that you always have a windmill nearby. This gives a perfect picture of where the wind is coming from and makes positioning a little easier, but.... Unfortunately, most Germans still can't form echelons and certainly can't ride in one. So on the side, in the side, foot out of the pedal. All the steering skills needed to maintain yourself at the front of the group.
Despite the harsh conditions, all categories still rode quite fast. The winner, Michiel Minnaert (son of CW editor Frank), crossed the line after 3:05 hours with an average speed of 42 km/h. But Team CycloWorld performed strong as well. Eveline herself finishes second in her category (Masters 3 - Damen), after having led her group for dozens of kilometers:
"Because the elevation is spread out over the entire course, it was not too difficult to keep riding together. The weather was so miserable that you wanted to keep on riding. I had not quite expected that it would take me less than four hours.
The men crossed the finish line in Münster tired and worn out, but certainly satisfied. Unfortunately, Karen had to abandon the race prematurely with back pain and take a seat in the broom wagon.
A final word of respect and thanks for the hundreds of traffic controllers, mostly students. Often they stand next to the road like drowned cats trying to warn the riders. But together with the, still numerous, arriving public, the traffic controllers ensure a super enthusiastic atmosphere along the route with rattles, vuvuzelas, horns, drums and the usual cowbells.
Great compliments to the organizers for another beautiful day of cycling (and that includes the occasional rain and wind) and the organization around it (with even a whole parking lot available). It was "Affen Titten Geil"! Hopefully next year again, but then without COVID restrictions, nice weather and a nice Weizenbier in the “Jedermann Rennen Bereich”.
Biss 2022 Münster!
Because of back problems, CW crew member Karen unfortunately had to look for the broom wagon. So it became a sightseeing tour of the Münsterland for her and, of necessity, she reported.
"The support vehicle was actually a small caravan consisting of a large touring car and a van with a trailer for the bikes. They regularly checked on the last riders in the race to see if everything was still going well. Not only out of concern, but also because a panting professional peloton was approaching to make its appearance on the same course. The red lantern was passed around with some regularity, as the wet weather caused mechanical failures, minor accidents and mental snapping. Thus, the broom wagon becomes quite full towards the end. It even becomes quite cozy. Every newcomer is greeted with cheerfulness and stories are exchanged. Even with the heating on, it is quite chilly in the wet clothes, so the extra blankets are eagerly used. Warm drinks would not have been a bad idea, but everyone was resigned to the lack of them. Close to the starting point the bus was unloaded with unlucky people. Quickly change clothes and go home. Better next time!"
|Name||Category||Time||Result in category||Overall|
|Eveline van der Hek||130 km M3D||3h53||2||9|
|Karen Oud||130 km M2D||DNF|
|Herman van Tilburg||130 km M2H||3h22||20||84|
|Marcel van Herten||130 km M2H||3h26||39||139|
|Wouter Fioole||130 km M2H||3h22||24||93|