Tyler Hamilton Interview - Part 2
Dave Osborne talks with US Champion Tyler Hamilton of Team Rock Racing about his difficult years of suspension, his year with Team Tinkoff, the move to Rock Racing, the current state of US cycling – and he tells us about the qualities of a new bike brand he likes.
Dave Osborne talks with US Champion Tyler Hamilton of Team Rock Racing about his difficult years of suspension, his year with Team Tinkoff, the move to Rock Racing, the current state of US cycling – and he tells us about the qualities of a new bike brand he fancies.
...continued from part 1 .
DO: From what you told us earlier in this interview I get the impression that the suspension and the ordeal that you went through with that has taken its toll on you, obviously. As you say, you quietly retired so do you think that was a significant part of that or to what extent did the suspension and the ordeal that followed affect you personally and professionally?
TH: That was hard; that was hard but, you know for me, I never gave up. I knew I was right and I knew I was going to come back without a doubt. I fought two different arbitrations. You know, the first one I lost in the 2 to 1 vote. I could go on about all the arbitration process, the two arbitrations I went through, and how unfair it was but I fought hard and I never gave up. Then, it was such a, I don’t know what the word is, shoots buzz kill to run into Tinkoff. At that point, I just – I was losing; I wasn’t having fun with the sport, that’s for sure. Like I said before, if you do not have fun with whatever you’re doing. If I wasn’t enjoying it, both on the bike and off the bike, I was miserable. I just felt like it was time. I fought so hard and really remained in the sport but the future looked bleak. I didn’t, I hadn’t really had any results in three and a half years. And then, you know, I get a phone call in early December from Michael Ball. He’s my hero.
DO: Well, you’re certainly in a better place now than obviously with Tinkoff.
TH: Yeah, again, I don’t have a whole lot of good things to say about him. We’ll just leave it at that, I guess. I feel really fortunate. It was just one phone call from him (Michael Ball, ed.), I think for him it was the shot in the dark. Maybe if I wasn’t on, who knows what would have happened. We had great conversation ...
DO: I hear he’s somewhat of a character and perhaps ruffles a few feathers.
TH: Yeah, if you read what the media writes but if you knew him the way I know him … Everybody should try to give him time and get to know Michael Ball because he’s going to be around this sport for a very long time, I can guarantee you that. He’s been a great person for this sport just, you know. Really, this is his first year with the team. They did exist last year, but this is the first big