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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

The Scott Sunderland Diary 2003

Touch down in Canada

Hamilton, October 8, 2003

Hi all,

I'm in Hamilton now after flying out on Monday and I feel good now that I'm here. Mat Hayman and Alby Davis were on the same flight and we landed at 12:00 local time. The mechanic picked us up in a big pickup truck and we had a 100 km drive out to get out here. We were a bit hungry so we hit Macca's, took all the muffins (which were really good) came back and had a cup of tea, watched TV until 5 pm and then slept. We've got a nice hotel on the lake and can see Toronto through the mist across the water which is nice. We're sharing the hotel with the Canadians, and Ekimov's here with a couple of the Russians.

On Tuesday we cruised out to Niagara Falls, had a coffee and went home again. Niagara Falls was a bit too commercial for my liking. You turn your back and you've got the Hilton, Sheraton, Marriott, all the big hotels on the hill behind you. There's cinemas, casinos, attractions, chain takeaways - it's a miniature city that's been built around Niagara.

It's an awesome view of the falls but it takes away the essence of this wonder of nature. It would be better if it was kept 10 km away as it's taken away the natural beauty of it all. For me it's one of those places you'd never spend money just to get to here.

Anyway, back to the coffee...being Canada, everything's big here and you've got heaps of choices. Small, medium, large, extra large... But how much coffee can a bloke drink? A medium is already a mug, a large is a tanker and an extra large is like a jug! Then you can have caramel, chocolate, froth, whipped cream etc. "Can't I have just a normal cappuccino?" "Are you sure?"

I got back on the bike and I was already digesting it a second time!

But I must say that the people are really friendly here in Canada. I remember from before in when I was here in Montreal they were really helpful.

Nice weather

It's bloody good weather at the moment, although it was really bad last weekend. Mick [Rogers] and Ben [Day] got here on the weekend, and it was freezing cold and raining. Now it's sunny and should stay that way for the rest of the week.

With weather like this we're going to be really, really lucky and the organisers will run a nice championships. The cutting off of the circuit in downtown Hamilton has been very successful. Sometimes (in other races) you think you've got most of the road but when you get there it's only one lane, but from what I can see here, the organisers have got the whole road closed and that's good for the road race. You're not rubbing shoulders against barriers. Overall, it looks like it's been a good job from the organisers.

On the TV side of things, they're also doing a good job for the Canadian commentary on CBC Sport. They've got good people like Curt Harnett co-commentating on the road races, Alex Steida, the first North American to wear the yellow jersey in the Tour, Linda Jackson, who came third in the Atlanta Olympic Road Race, track sprinter Tanya Dubnicoff and a few others. Having the ex-professionals doing the commentary is a very good idea and it shows they're switched on.

Anyway it's time for a massage. Catch you later!

Scott