Tyler Hamilton pedalled through the pain barrier on Monday and vowed to race on despite breaking his collarbone in a crash on the first stage of the Tour de France.
Hamilton finished 100th on Monday
Hamilton, who is one of the main challengers to defending champion Lance Armstrong, suffered the injury to his right shoulder in a big pile-up near the end of Sunday's stage.
The CSC team leader was taken to hospital where an X-ray revealed the break but no dislocation.
Hamilton was deeply disappointed at the prospect of dropping out of the race after dedicating his year to the campaign.
But spurred on by the influence of former team-mate Armstrong, the 32-year-old endured Monday's 204.5km second stage from La Ferte-sous-Jouarre to Sedan and is adamant he will continue in the race.
"Lance is as tough as they get. He has that fighter
mentality. I learned how to be tough
from him," said Hamilton.
"I was aching all day, I had this really sharp pain. If
it was more than I could have handled, I would not have
"Hopefully the pain will ease off in the next few days. I want to continue, that's for sure.
"The mind is a powerful thing. I just tried to block the
pain out by giving myself happy thoughts of my family."
In 1992, Hamilton broke his back in training during his time on the University of Colorado ski team.
"I've dealt with a lot of pain in my life, it makes you
tough coming back from those really low lows," he said.
Armstrong admitted he was unsurprised at Hamilton's decision to carry on.
"Tyler's tough," said Armstrong. "Tyler's used to pain.
He can do it."