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World Championships, BABY!(10 posts)

World Championships, BABY!gregario
Jan 13, 2003 9:50 AM
I'm going to the World's in October and I'm already geeked. They will be in Hamilton Ontario this year, only about a 6 hour drive from home. The elite men's road race will be 21 laps. Has anyone here been to the World's before? Any tips on seeing the race? How early to get there, etc...On the website it mentions tickets but they are not being sold yet. Do you really need to purchase tickets to see the race?
re:If possible run around the course.dzrider
Jan 13, 2003 10:10 AM
Stop and watch each time the peloton comes by or wait for the riders if you see an interesting situation. You'll get a great feeling for the course and see the riders in many different situations. I've done this at a few circuit races and enjoyed it much more thant hanging around the Start/Finish or on a steep hill.
even better...mohair_chair
Jan 13, 2003 1:20 PM
Watch one of the earlier races to see where the interesting situations develop. There are a bunch of races contested, not just Elite men. The Under-23 race is usually pretty good. When Armstrong won the Elite (Pro) race in 1993, the U23 (Amateur) winner was Jan Ullrich. Lance was only 21 at the time.
re: Good luck finding a room!purduem
Jan 13, 2003 10:56 AM
That's the spirit. All of North America seems be fired up for this! I started to plan my trip to Hamilton about a month ago and had a very tough time finding a room. I finally found a B&B about 10 miles from the course. I don't know why the UCI would put the World Championships in a city with a shortage of hotel rooms. I guess they want everyone to stay in Toronto and drive to the races??!!

If you have a tough time finding a room, try I think the owners of the Tall Trees B&B in Dundas are helping people find the few available rooms left.
I live in TorontoFrith
Jan 13, 2003 12:21 PM
about 40-60 minutes away...I'm having a hard enough time figuring out how I'm going to drive there and park that day. I have no idea what to expect as far as the amount of people. I would make arrangements to camp nearby or sleep in your car.
re: I live in Torontogregario
Jan 13, 2003 12:32 PM
I'm probably going to stay in Niagara Falls or St. Catherine's. It's not that far. Plus, my wife has never seen the Falls so we're going to spend a couple days there. But what you said is my main concern to get into town and find a place to park, etc. I'm thinking of bringing our tandem so if we have to park a ways away we could bike it if we have to, but I don't know any of the roads either. Might be more hassle than it's worth.

Maybe I could take a reconnaissance trip. You can also reserve rooms through Steve Bauer Bike Tours. I might do that and hopefully they can also provide logistical tips. There might even be shuttle buses, there is a check box on the reservation form if you need a shuttle from your hotel to the race.
Some tips, longboneman
Jan 13, 2003 2:39 PM
Last road World's in Canada was 1974 when Merckx took the victory. Held in Montreal which has accomodation it took a route through the the Parc and up Mount Royal where sure enough, the Cannibal broke away on the last lap.

The last World's I attended was in Lisbon, 2001. A circuit course. My advice is to walk around the course finding the best vantage points and determining how long it will take to get back, from any point, to the finish line for the end. It was the same two years before in Verona.

Tickets are generally only needed for grandstand seating. If you come with a motor home/van and/or camp, you may need to make arrangments. It varies from location to location but generally, walking the course is free.

Getting a grandstand seat at the finish line may be a problem depending on the size and logistics of the finish and the UCI promotion. In Lisbon you could get to within about 100 meters on either size of the finish but the commissaires, sponsors, etc. had the view if it came down to a sprint.

Tight corners and climbs are where crowds congregate but getting a view, even front row is generally not a problem except at the start/finish line which is generally cordoned off like you see at European stage race finishes. Also, food and drink are usually massed in the same area.

For the men's race, I got there about an hour before the start and no problems seeing the start. Walked around the course twice and still got to the finish. I posted pictures in the race photo gallery so you can get an idea how close you can get.

The posters who advise seeing the U23 race are spot on. The elite women are worth seeing and the TT is where the aficiando's come out. In Europe, a lot of the people watching the TT are either the parents, relatives or friends of the racers. A great way to meet people and work on your language skills.

It's really quite enjoyable and not the scrum people imagine. Hopefully the Dutch, Belgium and Spanish fans show up in numbers. They're absolutely the best and crazy for their favorites.

Good shoes, rain jacket just in case, and a motor drive camera with a fast 80-200 zoom and 800ASA film if you're really into photos. I used a Nikon N90s with a 80-200MM 2.8 zoom and Fuji 800 print film. Obviously go digital if you've the camera with no shot delay.

Enjoy. If I'm back in the States by then I'll make the journey.
re: World Championships, BABY!Spunout
Jan 14, 2003 4:39 AM
I live in Ottawa, and will stay with friends in Toronto. Drive the hour (maybe the trains will be running!) and park around the circuit, shouldn't be a problem.

There should be alot of rooms in any small city around Hamilton, do a mapquest to find out. See you all there!
I've got my roomgregario
Jan 14, 2003 5:56 AM
I'm staying in St. Catherine's at a Comfort Inn. It should only be a 30 minute drive max. I actually did find a motel in Hamilton that had some rooms but I called another place that didn't have any rooms and I asked them about the other place. They tried to be professional but basically implied it was a dump. I'm coming in Friday the 10th because I'm chiefly interested in the Elite Men's road race, but will be at the events on Saturday as well.
Just checked go transitFrith
Jan 14, 2003 9:10 AM
Toronto to Hamilton trip takes about an hour and a half and runs quite frequently. Great option!