What's Cool In Road Cycling

Worlds Week: The Show Must Go On!

With Erik Zabel’s victory at Paris-Tours etched into the record books the cycling world turns all eyes on Hamilton. While most of the cycling media were heading for the Paris airport, PezCycling News had already landed in Hamilton. Here’s a quick update on the final preparations for the races.

The weather today had all the makings of a fall classic week including a mix of sun, cloud, wind and rain. The afternoon temperature was 7C. If you believe the 5-day-forecast the weather is supposed to be sunny with temperatures reaching between 15C and 20C during the week. (picture – ‘Coming to Canada – don’t forget your toque eh?)

Well a little rain wasn’t slowing things down, as workers were busy putting the final touches on course preps. Picking up my credentials in the media centre was a breeze. Things were very well organized and the friendly staff was efficient in every language. I used three and was well received in each.

The media centre is perfectly situated next to the start-finish area and has all the amenities of home on the road – high-speed internet, television to watch the race, and lots of coffee.

While down below the Tissot timing system was being set up at the start-finish, two helicopters circled overhead getting synched with the layout below.

For those of you planning to watch from home, here is how those pictures come to you. Most of the video is shot from the back of motorcycles by brave cameramen. These acrobatic individuals are expected to hang off the side, stand on the pegs or contort themselves into a full 180 while the moto reaches speeds in excess of 100kph. All this while keeping a cumbersome video camera focused on the racers. The video feeds are transmitted to one of two helicopters hovering over the race. The helicopters also have video cameras on board for overhead shots. A fixed wing aircraft circles above to assist with the retransmission of the video feeds. Couple this with miles of cables, satellite uplink systems, TV trailers staffed with producers, editors and commentators on the ground and you can sit back and enjoy the race in the comfort of your own home. Along with the millions of people expected to watch the event worldwide.

Everything looked good to go in Hamilton today. The local folk were friendly and excited as they prepare to welcome the world to their town (picture of team Kazakstan team car).

We even saw a signup sheet for members of the media to tour the course by car Monday morning. No cars here – the PEZ World’s coverage team pre-road the course a month ago (Feature Stories Sept. 10 “Worlds 2003 – PEZ Pre-Rides the Course). Stay tuned to PEZ, the Riders Source for racing news all week. Tomorrow the show begins with the long TT course open for training.

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