Avec Red Bull, ça tourne pas rond à la Cigale!

Le week-end dernier, Red Bull avait donné rendez-vous aux amoureux du pignon fixe, ou fixie, dans un endroit totalement décalé, j’ai nommé la Cigale, dans le cadre du premier Red Bull Mini Drome. Plus connu pour ses concerts que pour ses événements sportifs (NDLR c’est la première fois qu’avait lieu un événement sportif dans la salle), on pouvait voir au milieu la réplique d’un vélodrome en bois.

Pour les non-initiés qu’est ce que le fixie ou pignon fixe?

C’est tout simplement le vélo dans sa plus simple expression : un cadre, des roues avec des pneus, un guidon, des pédales,une selle, parfois un frein, je dis bien « parfois » et surtout pas de vitesse. Votre vélo n’a pas de corps de roue libre donc cela se traduit par vous arrêter de pédaler et votre roue arrière s’arrête de tourner, c’est ce que l’on appelle l’entraînement direct. On gère sa vitesse avec ses cuisses, qui chez les professionnels de la discipline font bien souvent la taille de mon buste et leurs mollets la taille de ma tête. Si vous voulez ralentir, vous pédalez plus lentement et si vous voulez freiner urgemment vous faîtes du « skid » (dérapage)…mais c’est une technique spéciale et c’est chaud !!

Bref, si vous avez un peu le sens de l’observation vous aurez peut-être remarqué ces bikers au style un peu street/skate, qui semblent se faufiler entre les voitures. Le but du fixie c’est de faire un vélo ultra léger, très fiable car pas de mécanique (pas de vitesse) donc entretien minimal et qui se glisse dans la jungle urbaine. C’est à la base l’outil de travail des bike-messengers qui assurent les livraisons dans des villes à la circulation dense comme New-York, Londres, San Francisco ou encore Paris. Les bike-messengers sont payés à la course, plus ils en font plus ils se font d’argent, comme il est si bien raconté dans le film Premium Rush qui sort en 2012 sur les bike-messengers de New York dont vous trouverez le trailer ci-dessous.

 [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pn6ie1zCkZU[/youtube]

Revenons au Red Bull Mini Drome, qui a eu lieu ce samedi à la Cigale.  Je précise à la Cigale car depuis la création par Red Bull, en 2010, de la course sur le plus petit vélodrome  du monde (14m de long sur 7m de large), à Auckland en Nouvelle Zélande, l’event a déjà fait 3 haltes au Royaume-Uni,  2 au Canada, une en Estonie, Mexique, Pologne, Colombie et Floride. Cet événement était ouvert à tous sous conditions que votre monture soit un fixie, que vous ayez un casque et que vous arriviez à vous qualifier pour les phases finales avec votre temps en contre-la-montre. Seuls les 32 meilleurs temps seront retenus pour participer aux phases de finales sous forme de poursuite. Parmi les participants, j’ai tout de même croisé Charlie Conord (Equipe de France de cyclisme sur piste), Matthias Dandois (Multiple champion de BMX Flat) et une jeune bikeuse Néo-Zélandaise du nom de Jenna Makgill (Championne du monde 2008 de la course des coursiers à Toronto).

Cette dernière a particulièrement retenu mon attention pour plusieurs raisons :
Primo le fixie est plutôt un « monde de mecs », seulement 6 filles étaient là aujourd’hui ; secundo lors de sa phase de qualification contre-la-montre, elle finit (d’abord) 8ème avec un temps à faire pâlir toute la salle et tertio, elle vient de l’autre bout de la planète.

Elle a la gentillesse de m’accorder quelques instants et j’en apprends plus sur la demoiselle :
Jenna (Jennifer) Makgill est Néo-zélandaise, elle est née le 14 janvier 1986, elle vient d’Auckland et pratique le fixie depuis 2007. Elle est venue au fixie par hasard après une carrière dans le VTT de descente. Je lui parle de son temps plus qu’honorable et elle me confie que ce n’est pas la vitesse le secret mais les virages : elle n’a jamais eu peur de s’incliner car c’est ce qu’elle préférait en descente et c’est la qu’on gagne du temps, dans les courbes. Je lui demande si le fixie ce n’est pas trop un monde macho et on voit que son expérience dans la descente lui prodigue un certain recul car elle me dit que dans tous les sports extrêmes les femmes ne pourront pas rivaliser avec les mecs à armes égales mais et que c’est clairement macho mais elle s’en moque, elle est là pour s’amuser et prendre du plaisir et si elle peut gagner alors tant mieux. Je lui demande comment elle gère le décalage horaire, elle me dit que c’est un peu compliqué mais c’est un pli à prendre (il y a quand même un vol de 14h puis un vol de 7h), donc c’est à base de petites siestes pour récupérer.
Pour l’anecdote Charlie Conord a fini 8ème en contre-la-montre et du coup Jenna est 9ème et je suis allé à la rencontre de Charlie et lorsque je lui ai dit qu’il avait pris la place de Jenna, il m’a dit : « elle est vraiment très forte alors !! ».

Au total, plus de 400 spectateurs et pas moins de 138 participants venus d’un peu partout dans le monde auront tenté leur chance dans une ambiance de cour d’école. Le seul élément qui rappelait que nous avions à faire à une compétition était le chrono. Certains se sont fait flasher à plus de 70km/h tandis que d’autres sont carrément sortis de la piste et même le look du vainqueur Britannique Ricky Crompton, en tenue intégrale moulante léopard avec un T-shirt turquoise, aurait fait dire à Omar du SAV « Tu viens plus aux soirées ?! » plutôt que « Mes félicitations pour votre victoire, Monsieur !».

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