Tyler Hamilton Diary

News & Results

07/20/2004| 0 comments
by Tyler Hamilton

Tyler Hamilton Diary

Back in Spain.

MD?s note about
Tyler
?s injury ). Your legs can only function with the full strength of the muscles in your stomach and lower back.  With one side out of commission, I didn?t have the power I needed to push the pedals.  If you saw the coverage on television, there was no suffering on my face, because I was physically unable to push myself to that point.  

It was disappointing to lose 3 and half minutes in stage 12 but under the circumstances I don?t know how I didn?t lose more time.  The next morning, Alvaro Pino made the call in our team meeting.  He had given the situation a lot of thought during the night and knew what we were up against.  If it was clear at any point in stage 13 that I couldn?t climb with the leaders than I had to stop.  I almost couldn?t believe what I was hearing him saying.  But Alvaro is a logical man who cares an awful lot about his riders, and would never put them in a situation that would compromise them or their future.  He was firm with his direction. Little did I know, he had spoken with Kristopher who had told him my back was, well, to put it politely, "bad".  

After the second
Col
, I knew I was cooked.  The peloton was riding tempo and I couldn?t push the pedals hard enough to stay in contact. With a heart rate probably under 120, I was having trouble staying in contact with the peloton.  I was like a battery-powered toy on its last leg.  I was going as fast as I could with the power I had left in me, but it was barely half of my potential. So I drifted back to Alvaro and without much of a word he gave me the signal to stop.  So on a flat section of the course I made my rounds through the bunch and wished my teammates the best.  Leaving these guys in the heat of the battle is one of the hardest things I?ve ever had to do.

There is no way to explain how much this team means to me, or what those eight guys had done for me leading up to the Tour and at the race itself.  I know we arrived in
Liege
with the strongest team in the race.  What we overcame in the team time trial to finish second proved that.  Without five mechanicals, I think we would have been able to show the world just how ready we were to fight a good fight. But sometimes things happen that are out of your control that keep your goals beyond reach.  I feel like I arrived at the Tour de France last year and this year in the best shape possible and ready to take on the challenges ahead.  But fate is a lousy negotiator and sometimes you have to take the hands you are dealt.

This is a crazy injury.  One that I cannot control or overcome just by willing myself to do

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