Tyler Hamilton's Inside Story
Tyler tunes: Teamwork smooths out bumps in a tough Tour. The Tour de France is long over, but I thought this inside story on how it went for Tyler's team (CSC) was pretty amazing. Shows how much suffering there is. Some samples:
* When we decided I would try to ride the next day, I really didn't think I'd make it more than 10 or 20 kilometers. But I felt like I had to prove to myself I couldn't ride. I didn't want to look back on the race and wonder "what if?" Honestly, I was the last guy who thought I would make it through the day.
* Michael Blaudzen was hampered by nasty tendonitis in his wrist. This develops out of the blue sometimes, and the only thing you can do to help it is rest. But at the Tour, there's no time for that. So he had to immobilize his wrist off the bike, and ride through the pain on the bike.
* Carlos Sastre managed to find success before suffering, however. He attacked and won on the finish to Plateau du Bonascre. But on the cold and foggy descent of Luz Ardiden after the finish, he managed to pick up a pretty serious case of influenza.
* Nicki [Sorenson] was the motorbike that decimated the breakaway group I bridged up to after being towed back into contention in stage 16. He ripped the legs off the guys in the group and set me up for the attack that ultimately led to my stage victory.