Tyler Hamilton Diary

News & Results

07/27/2004| 0 comments
by Tyler Hamilton

Tyler Hamilton Diary

Watching the Tour on television was something I had hoped would be reserved for retirement.

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Spain
:
Being home during the month of July for the first time in nine years felt a little strange to say the least. Watching the Tour on television was something I had hoped would be reserved for retirement. But life throws you a curveball every so often. The trick is making the catch and hocking the ball back where it came from. I?m getting ready to do just that. Give me another week or so to mend. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>

My wife and I traveled north to
Paris
to see the finish of the Tour. I stopped in my tracks when Haven informed me that I would need a ?pass? to get near the finish line. I had never been a spectator on the
Champs Elysees before. So I had some learning to do as her sidekick.

But it was good to be there and cheer the guys onto the cobble stones. We sat in the grand stand for the first couple of laps and then I motioned to my wife that we needed to hit the road. We headed over to the area where the team cars await the riders after the finish. This spot also serves as the pick up and drop off point for VIPs who want to take a trip around the Champs in a team car.

I jumped in with Alvaro Pino, our head director. We had two guys in the breakaway that lasted until the final lap or so. I spent most of the ride shouting over the radio in my broken Spanish and French. In an instant I had become that crazy man in the earpiece that drives every rider nuts during the races. But it was half in jest and all good fun. Although I doubt my Tour tired teammates thought it was nearly as entertaining as I did.

We celebrated the team?s first Tour de France with a big dinner that night. Over 150 Phonak employees from all over the world came to see the finish, so it was good to be able to thank them in person for all their support of the team. We do after all, ?race for better hearing?.

There?s a special motivation behind this team that?s great to be a part of. Reducing the stigma of hearing loss is a big challenge. And increasing the quality of life of those who suffer from hearing loss is a mission I?m honored to be a part of. Recently, my cousin Charlie who has been hearing impaired his whole life, was outfitted with the latest Phonak equipment. He sent me an email telling me how great it was to be able to be out in a noisy restaurant and hear his wife speaking clearly. Hearing his story made me realize how important this equipment is, and what a difference it can make in people?s lives.

I think in light of all the challenges we faced at the Tour de France this year, the Phonak team has a lot to reflect on and be proud of. Oscar Pierero finished 10th overall, which was

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