Tyler Hamilton Interview - Part 1
Roadcycling.com reporter Dave Osborne talks to Tyler Hamilton about winning the US Pro Road Cycling Championships, the very exciting finish, and his transition from Team Tinkoff to Rock Racing.
again, I'm not taking anything away from my teammates last year. They got a really great staff there. It was an unfortunate year for me with the way everything came about. I have worked so hard to come back. I say it's been about two and a half years without racing. Was trying to come back and then I only got in about two months of racing. It didn't come until the US National Championship last year. I didn't race at all. I think I came to the conclusion it was time to hang it up with me being tired of the sport. I was becoming more tired of the way I was being treated, especially by Mr. Tinkoff.
TH: I don't know, I had fought so hard and then to have that last year was just a disaster. So, I quietly retired and nothing against you but I didn't really feel like I owed it to the media to make a big deal about retiring. In my opinion, the media hadn't been so nice to me, so fair to me over the last few years so I quietly retired. My friends, my family knew but ... Three months later, I got a phone call from, no disrespect to you, but ...
DO: Certainly, none taken, Tyler. I certainly understand and I was going to say that on a personal and professional level, let me tell you I'm happy that you're unretired and back.
TH: I appreciate that; I really appreciate that.
DO: You know, I'm one those old guys who gets fat in the winter and…
TH: Me too, me too. That's true, ask all my friends.
DO: My idol growing up was Greg Lemond.
TH: Greg's done a lot for the sport and, it's unfortunate that the last few years I don't think he's been recognized much for that. Without Greg Lemond, I don't know where U.S. cycling would be today.
DO: I want to back up a little bit and ask again about the U.S. Pro Championships. Obviously, Tyler, you've got a strong background in time trialing, so how did the decision to not do the time trial at the championships come into play?
TH: Well, you know, I just felt a little bit guilty about that because that's been my forte over the years. To be honest, I hadn't done a whole lot of time trials this year and the ones that I had done were really, really short. Basically, prologues and I honestly think the longest time trial that I had done was seven miles the whole season - and it wasn't even an uphill time trial. I did a longer one in Columbia but it was like a mountain so I had not had a whole lot of practice. To be honest and because I really didn't have a whole lot of races that were in the half hour plus, 30 to 40 minutes, 50 minutes in range. I didn't feel like I was really prepared for it. Sure, I think I could have had a