Redemption.

03Sep08

On Sunday, Tyler Hamilton won the US PRO National Cycling Championships. At 37, Tyler Hamilton will wear the Stars and Stripes jersey for the next year. 

While you may or may not believe Tyler, I think we can all agree he did his time and some. Personally, I believe he not only did his time, but took a huge fall for Pro cycling in general. Other convicted dopers have been welcomed back to the sport, sometimes as heroes. Meanwhile, Tyler was dragged through the mud not only for the two years of his sentence, but for the year of his first “comeback” by the Russian Tinkoff team who signed him, but then wouldn’t race him. 

After making a decision to retire last fall, Rock Racing and Michael Ball offered him another chance. (I’ve been drafting a post about Rock Racing that will be posted in the coming weeks). While Tyler showed he is still a champion on Sunday through his win, I think he’s showed he’s a champion this entire year win or lose. After serving his time, he came back proving to us all that you can’t be beat if you never quit. 

Tyler en route to winning a Tour stage with a broken collar bone (still my favorite win to watch in the Tour):

 

I’ve had the privelage to train with Tyler a few times and I’ve always been impressed with his good attitude and ability to be friendly with everyone. 

Also, congrats to Blake Caldwell who Tyler beat by a centimeter. Blake nearly didn’t get a contract renewal to (Slipstream) Garmin-Chipotle last fall and at the last minute was added to the 2008 roster. He broke his hip this spring and things were looking rough. At the Tour of Utah he won a stage and nearly won the overall. It’s too bad only one champion won the race, because two sprinted to the line. 

Cheers, to two Colorado boys who made the US PRO championships their own.

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2 Responses to “Redemption.”

  1. I concur – good ride by Tyler. I’ll give him a clean slate from the start of Rock and try to forgive the years of heartbreak as a previously loyal fan.

  2. nicely said, garrett.
    by the way, i had the opportunity to speak with several of the rock team membersleading up to and at the tour of missouri, and found them to be very kind, cordial, and dedicated pros. [you can find these interviews in the archives at http://kxno.com/pages/kimwest.html ]
    unfortunately, fate was not kind to them, and as a team, missouri didn’t treat them as well as they had hoped. but it’s been a long and difficult season for the rock team members who raced in missouri.


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