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Tyler Hamilton

What were you doing today in years past?

I am so proud of Tyler who hails from MA. Here is the full story from OLN:

”Today has made up for everything,“ said Tyler Hamilton about his victory in the 16th stage. ”To win a stage of the Tour de France is beyond my wildest dreams. Under the circumstances I’ve done a respectable Tour. After today, I can forget about the regret.“ Yes, Hamilton is about as humble as an athlete can be.

Doing anything with a fractured collarbone can be a painful experience. Sleeping on his back instead of his side is something Tyler listed as one of the more frustrating elements of an injury he sustained in a crash at the end of the first stage. ”I’m getting a bit sick of it.“ The fracture is a nuisance for him but it has hardly hindered his performance.

”I’m feeling stronger now and I can pull on the bars a bit more than I could in the first week,“ said the 32-year-old from Marblehead. Hamilton became the sixth American to win a stage of the Tour de France. He follows the lead set by Greg Lemond, Davis Phinney, Jeff Pierce, Andy Hampsten and his former colleague from the early years of his career the US Postal Service team, Lance Armstrong. The day featured six categorized climbs. Once the main mountains were finished, eighty kilometers remained. The climbs were cruel. Steep, shrouded in mist and packed with Basque spectators which are ever-present in this part of the world, the Col de Soudet, Cote de Larrau and Col Baraguy may not be as famous as other summits, but they had the potential to alter the overall standings. It would, however, take a strong man with a bold focus to attempt to stay free of a pack of favorites who were back on the bike after a day of rest. Tyler’s no-fuss approach is more akin to the 1996 Tour champion who now directs Team CSC, Bjarne Riis, than it is to the hype which surrounds his friend who wears the yellow jersey. How are you feeling? It was a typical last-minute question before he mounted his bike in Pau. With a shrug of the shoulders and in the dry, emotion-free tone with which he responds to most questions he gave a simply response. ”We’ll see in a few hours. In Bayonne his impressive resume — which includes a win in the oldest of all one-day Classics, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, which he won at the end of April and the Tour of Romandie that he dominated the very next week — acquired another entry. A stage win in the Tour is, indeed, more than respectable. But the success didn’t change his demeanor at the post-stage press conference. That might have something to do with the fact that he’d been on the attack from the 55km mark of the 197.5km stage. He chased down every escapee, passed them all and by the top of the brutal Bagarguy he was on his own at the front of the stage. It was certainly the stuff which wins fans. But Tyler won’t change. ”I don’t think I’m a hero,“ he told Gerard Holtz, from France Television who insisted that the victory today helped etch his name into cycling folklore. ”I’m just doing my job. I continued doing this race because I believed I can help the team. The team has given me a lot of opportunities and I and I thought that if I could put the pain behind me, then I could continue. I did the same in the Tour of Italy last year. Riding with broken bones is part of what Tyler is famous for. His second overall in the 2002 Giro d’Italia was done with a broken shoulder. It is indeed inspirational. It was a ride that prompted Armstrong to offer Hamilton a hug moments after the rider in the yellow jersey crossed the line almost two minutes behind the champion of the day. ”I could see that Lance was genuinely happy for me. And that’s nice. A lot of my success today is because of what I’ve learnt from riding with Lance.“ Tyler has everything required to win the Tour. A talent on the climbs and in the time trials. He is committed and focused. The one thing which he now needs to replicate from the Armstrong mould is the ability to avoid accidents (or, at least, serious injury) in the same miraculous style. If he could do that, it’s likely that Tyler would not only forget about the regret of what could have been possible. He might win more than a stage of this race.

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