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.
states this year.
TH: It should be fun. I’m looking forward to it.
DO: You have ridden, obviously, and raced in Europe and you’re heading to Britain for the Tour of Britain for your last race of the season, what can you tell our readers about the differences in racing and the sport of cycling from the United States to Europe?
TH: Before I started racing professionally in 1995, at that point I was primarily racing in the U.S. with a few occasional trips to Europe, and basically since then, I went over to Europe basically full time starting with the 1997 Tour de France. Really, when I came back - basically raced full time back domestically this year - the level had really risen and I can’t tell you how impressed I am with the quality of the peleton. In the mid 90s, it felt like there was a quarter to a half of the peloton who was very strong and now the speed feels similar to that in Europe. That gap has certainly closed down a lot. It is really nice to see. Again, riders like Blake Caldwell, all the three guys in the break with Garmin at U.S. Pros. They are young kids and it just impresses me to see those three guys and all the other guys who are racing will have a lot of success in Europe I can pretty much guarantee it. Again, the gap has closed. For me, I did with a few races last spring in 2007. I certainly wasn’t in great form then so it’s harder to compare. I was suffering a lot basically so it’s hard to compare. It will be interesting to see how I feel. I’m not maybe at 100 percent but I think I’m in pretty good form. It will be interesting to see for sure. The Tour of Great Britain will be a higher race. It is a quality field this year. We have big aspirations.
DO: Thank you for that. One of the things that we do at Roadcycling.com is we write products reviews, test products, and whatnot. Readers are obviously interested in bicycles. What can you say about some of the bikes that you ridden on the different teams and what they are like?
TH: Luckily for me, I have been fortunate in my career to ride some really top quality bikes. On the U.S. Postal team, on the Trek, on the CSC team, I was on a Look and then Cervelo which, at the time, was a small, small company, which is something to think about now. And then on Phonak, I was on