shaken & stirred

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nicest guy in the world

So, I don't know him, but I'd be willing to go out on a limb. Tyler Hamilton. Also, having a really, really bad couple of weeks.

He's updated his tour diary at Velo News with an explanation of why he had to abandon the race: 

A lot of people may think I had to abandon the Tour due to pain. Although the injury is painful, this is not the case. It was really a lack of power. 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.


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 so. I would take the pain of two broken collarbones over this any day - and keep riding if I could. But something has come unplugged. So it's time to rest and start thinking about the races up the road. I'm hoping to be well enough to still compete in Athens. And there's always the Vuelta to consider. But first things first, which for now is recovery.

Coming off of the emotional stress of losing Tugboat, the disappointment of abandoning the Tour is in perspective. I know there will be another Tour de France next year. And I'm already looking forward to it.

But this year's race is not over, and team Phonak is going to be going hard straight through to Paris. I spoke to Nicolas Jalabert last night after his long day in the breakaway and his impressive second place and he said "Man, I tried so hard to win for you today."

This kind of loyalty and friendship means the world to me. All things considered I'm a very lucky guy. My wife and I will be heading to Paris this weekend to cheer the boys home. It's a moment I'm looking forward to.

This is what people mean when they call (certain) athletes heroes. If this guy doesn't reflect something pure and fucking true about the best side of human nature and possibility, I don't know who or what does.

Keep your fingers crossed for the Olympics.


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