Tyler Hamilton Diary

News & Results

07/5/2004| 0 comments
by Tyler Hamilton

Tyler Hamilton Diary

Tour de France prologue.

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Tour de France prologue


Liege, Belgium, July 3, 2004 :
It feels good to have officially started the race. The days leading up to the Tour always seem like such chaos. You never stop moving. There is always somewhere to be and some who needs to speak with you. It's a hectic pace to be keeping when all you really want to do is rest. Three long weeks are ahead, so it's important to maintain a balance. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>

Our camp gathered a little early on Tuesday morning to do some last minute previewing of the team time trial course together. It's always a bit of a challenge to figure out the order the guys are going to ride in. So it was good to have the chance to fine tune things a bit while riding on the actual course.

We also spent an afternoon previewing Stage 3 which will feature two pretty significant sections of pave. It's only a few kilometers of cobble stones, total - but they are pretty tough. Just riding them in training was enough to make my hands blister from holding the bars tight enough to keep control of my bike - which was bouncing all over the place. Everyone keeps talking about the second half of the Tour being where the real racing will be done, but there will be plenty of hurdles to jump before anyone can get to that.

Today's prologue course was pancake flat. Prologues are not always my specialty. I tend to favor those that are a little more technical or feature a bit of a climb. I tried out some longer cranks thinking they'd help me go faster on the long straight-aways, but in retrospect, they may have cost me too much in the corners. I would have preferred to have placed in the top 10, but I'm satisfied to have finish in the hunt, inside the top 20. There's a long way to go in this race, so it's not worth beating myself up over a few seconds lost today.

I was able to race on my new time trial bike this afternoon. It's a newly designed frame from BMC, custom made in
Switzerland
by a carbon fiber company that also works with teams from Formula One auto racing. The frame features an integrated fork design that eliminates the need for a stem. So it looks and feels pretty different. It's the most aerodynamic time trial bike I've ever ridden.

On behalf of my dog Tugboat, I want extend a huge thank you for the well wishes, notes and emails I've received regarding his recent illness. An endoscopy preformed early last week showed he is suffering from multiple stomach ulcers that developed after he had an allergic reaction to medication he was taking. He's still making daily vet visits for treatment, but hopes to be well enough to catch a couple of the
Pyrenees stages of the Tour.

I also want to send my condolences out the family and friends of Stive Vermaut. Stive was a teammate of mine back

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