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As an aspiring young junior the World Road
Championships in your hometown is as huge an event as you can imagine.
With the schools closed and all the who’s who of
cycling arriving in Hamilton, daily Zack took to the streets to catch all the
action. He, like many Hamiltonian’s
were not disappointed.
Wednesday morning, October 8th was a day
for the road course inspection/training. Zack
was hoping to see the squadra azzurra and race favourite Paolo Bettini.
From afar he could see the blue train up the road
and set off in pursuit and soon found himself alongside la Grillo.
After a brief exchange of greetings, Paolo produced
and signed a cycling cap which he handed to Zack.
It was at about this time the Italian newspaper, Corriere Canadese began
taking some photos of Zack riding alongside the aforementioned Bettini. Later in the week, Zack was spotted by
some Italian fans at the Azzurra Plaza on Main Street and soon found himself
signing dozens of copies of the paper!
Thursday brought the race of truth to the Hammer,
and many of us marveled at the sheer speed of the worlds elite time trialists. Frigo, Rogers, Rich – they were all
here as well as one of Zack’s heroes David Miller of Britain.
After an outstanding performance, the rainbow clad
world champion Miller made his way back to the team tent where Zack had been
waiting and talking with some trainer in hopes of garnering a photo or
autograph. As Miller approached the
pit area one those trainers handed Zack a UK national jersey and said “here,
have David sign this for you.” It
was just another sign of people oceans apart coming together in a common arena
and sharing their love of cycling and sport together.
It didn’t take long for Zack to show his kindness
to a couple of American riders he noticed heading onto the highway back tracking
their way back to the hotel they were staying at in Grimsby. Knowing a MUCH safer route back, not to
mention more scenic, Zack quickly caught up to the pair who happened to be none
other than Levi Leipheimer and Bobby Julich.
After a short ride, Zack parted ways with his new mates but not before
Bobby gave him a signed hat for the helping hand.
Yes, it was just one of those magical weeks for
Zack. Who knows maybe in the
not-too-distant future he may be signing a few hats himself.
A week worth waiting for Giuseppe Ferrara and
Giancarlo Seffafero layed the groundwork for the 2003 World Championships way
back some 5 years ago. Monday
morning came – Thanksgiving day after digesting a weeks worth of memories. I know I speak for many when I say it
was worth waiting for.
My week of volunteering started on Monday. I worked as a course ambassador,
basically an info booth on roller blades donning a Louis Garneau TT helmet and
bright yellow shirt. I soon found
myself surrounded by dozens of non-cycling spectators asking who was racing
today? What countries? And which
one is that Armstrong guy? Well, it
was an impressive crowd I’d addressed with many answers – “they’re just
practicing today, tomorrow you’ll start to see them racing in full flight”,
oh and that Armstrong guy, people stopped asking about him by Wednesday.
The week was an international kaleidoscope in which
I met old and new friends (see article by Cecelia Carter-Smith). At the Pheasant Plucker on Augusta
Street, we socialized with a pub full of Belgians including pro Dave Bruylanduts
and later in the week the cannibal himself Eddy Merckx.
What a festive atmosphere,
celebrating cycling and friendships. The bands played until the wee hours of the
evening as we mixed together and traded stories, pines, and good cheer.
It was a pleasure to volunteer
my time showing people our City. The
Hamilton 2003 team I worked with, in particular Katie Coulson, Community Relations Coordinator, were outstanding and
everything came together beautifully. We
should all be proud of what is being called one of the best world championships
Thank you, Giuseppe and
Giancarlo, it was most certainly a week worth waiting for.
by Dave Harrison
and October is traditionally the months that most of the worlds’ top riders
will use to fine tune their World Championship preparations. One such race is the October 5th
Paris-Tours World Cup classic.
flat race a week before the Worlds is usually won in a pack sprint as was the
case this year. German Telekom
sprinter Erik Zabel finally got the better of Fassa Bortolo speedster Alexandro
Petacchi. While Patacchi, hands
covering his face, couldn’t believe he’d lost this sprinter’s classic, his
fellow countryman Paolo Bettini took 8th place and subsequently
enough points to win his 2nd consecutive World cup title.
6th to 12th, World Championship week in Hamilton. Paolo Bettini was the elite mens
favourite, but many others were ready and able to challenge him for the title of
World Champion. Although the elite
mens road race is the showcase event, many of the thousands who lined the
streets would agree that all the weeks races were outstanding from the brilliant
time trialing of the young German Espoir Marcus Fothen to Hamilton’s own Sue
Palmer-Komar’s brave run finishing up 13th top among Canadian
women. Read some personal accounts
of the weeks festivities in this newsletter.
week later the rainbow jersey arrived at the Giro di Lombardia, the 10th
and final round of the World Cup. The
“race of the falling leafs” was for the 2nd year in a row won by
Italian Michele Bartoli.
many as 100+ riders DNF’d the race. Most
noticeably World Cup Champion Paolo Bettini and the rainbow clad Igor Astarloa. I’m sure Bettini will be looking to
trade his World Cup jersey in for the rainbow colours next year in Verona,
Opera Tickets – Special Offer to Hamilton Cycling Club Members
members of the Oakville Cycling Club and friends attended performances of Carmen
and all thought it was a great show.
same offer of 20% discount on tickets is now available on the Royal Opera Canada
productions of Nabucco on November 15th, 16th (matinee),
18th, 20th and 22nd at the Living Arts Centre
in Mississauga. Or at the Toronto
Centre for the Arts on Yonge Street in North York on November 27th,
29th, December 4th and 6th.
contact Terry Rooney by e-mail (email@example.com) or by phone at 905-465-3890.
Opera has a great deal of rousing tuneful music and features the beautiful
Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves (Va pensiero) often regarded as Italy’s second
In light of this year’s poor
attendance at B.A.R. events, most notably the road races, the Club will be
making some changes for 2004 in an attempt to see which areas most interest
Tuesday night time trials will
remain as will Thursday’s speedway crits.
Both had reasonable turnouts, although Thursdays did see a bit of a
decline. The B.A.R. will be
moth-balled and/or dropped until some fresh ideas can make it worth the effort. Randy Brown spent many early mornings
setting and marking the courses for less than a handful of riders. Although it should be mentioned that
Randy never minded doing so – truly a love for the sport.
According to the numbers, time
trials still warrant a yearly series. The
new I.T.T. combined championship for 2004 will consist of 3 – 15 km events, 2
– 40 km races and 1 hill climb. Your
best time at these distances will count in your standings against other members. We hope this will keep numbers up, or at
least give us some clues as to what club members would like, perhaps even
forwarding some new ideas.
This update although could be
void if the Club cannot find a replacement in 2004 for outgoing Race Secretary,
Randy Brown who has given himself to the Club events for the past 18 years.
Thank you Randy for your great
support over this period of time. The
annual AGM is a prime opportunity to find out, without obligation, more about
this vital position in our Club.
of the Season Race News
At the time of printing
November’s newsletter the Cyclo-cross season will be about the half-way point. Several HCC members have been in the
think of it. Rob Cheskey has had
good results with a 4th place at both Durham and Centennial races.
Frank Morrow and George
Garrett have also been out cleaning a few barriers with great success. George has been busy getting his
homestead ready for our club ‘cross event on the 9th of November.
All clubs events are over for
the season which ended with the Sydenham Hill climb. The climb brought out 15 riders in total with Sean Scott
taking the title in a blazing 4:18. He
was followed by guests Mike McCaughley and Dave Wooley. Top female was Genesis’ Sue Palmer-Komar, not far off with
third overall and maybe thinking of another “big” event planned in October.
Our Membership year is January 1st to
December 31st, so please renew ASAP!
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