Tour de France News for July 8, 2003
Edited by Jeff Jones
Courage and pain for Hamilton
Photo: © C.Henry/CN
A day after breaking his collarbone in a crash in stage
1, CSC's Tyler Hamilton amazed everyone by taking the start of stage
2. An even bigger surprise was that he finished the stage, albeit
in no small amount of pain.
"I guess time will tell if I made the right decision. I tell you, it
was a hard day. I didn't get much sleep last night. It was difficult,
really a dull ache, all day," Hamilton said after finishing in 100th place
in the same time as the stage winner.
On Sunday night after the crash, Team CSC's physical therapist, Ole
Kare Foli, worked on Hamilton for two hours, and another one and a half
hours Monday morning before the start. "I'll be taking it day by day.
I want to get to the team time trial so I can help Carlos Sastre to repay
him for the help he's been giving me all season," Hamilton continued.
"Ole worked on me two hours last night and an hour and a half this morning.
He's a magician."
Photo: © C.Henry/CN
Hamilton benefited from the fact that the stage was slow at the start.
"Fortunately for me, the stage was ideal. It started real easy and just
progressed and the pace picked up throughout the day," Hamilton said.
"Had it gone flat out from the start, I'd have been in trouble."
Team CSC manager Bjarne Riis was impressed at Hamilton's courage too.
"Sunday night I was so distraught I wanted to cry," said Riis. "I know
how hard Tyler worked to be ready for the Tour, how much he suffered and
trained. Things have to get better the next couple of days before we can
talk about anything else. The entire team will help him every day."
McEwen on French team conspiracy
Right after the stage yesterday, Robbie McEwen (6th) was silently fuming.
When he was first asked for a reaction by the Belgian journalists he barked,
"I've got nothing to say." But after the protocol the Australian rider
admitted that "I was nowhere in this uncontrolled sprint."
"If Fassa and us didn't ride, then Finot would have won...big joy for
the French, who seem to have made a deal not to chase each other. Also
FdJeux.com didn't want to help, because they would have lost yellow today:
Petacchi or myself would have grabbed yellow. That's while the riders
in the lead were threatening the jersey too! And in the end they win the
stage with Cooke and hold onto yellow as well!"
"I'll talk about this with [Lotto director Marc] Sergeant, because we
can't hold this up as a team. I am still leading in the PMU classification
by one point, but that doesn't yet interest me at the moment." Lotto-Domo
team director Marc Sergeant is also surprised at the tactics of the peloton.
"Everyone who feels like it gets ten minutes. If we didn't chase, what
would have happened?"
Extra motivation for Bodrogi
According to Het Nieuwsblad, Laszlo Bodrogi has got more than one reason
to perform well in the Tour. The Hungarian Quick.Step-Davitamon rider
is hunting for a lion for his pregnant French girlfriend Cathérine.
"It seems like a terrific cuddly toy for Bodro Jr.," explained Cathérine,
whose baby is due around the 26th of October. "So they have to win yellow
or hope that Quick.Step-Davitamon leads the team classification for a
few days. At the World's he'll get two more chances with the time trial
and the road race. A mini-rainbow jersey appeals to me too!"
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