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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 June, 2003, 10:24 GMT 11:24 UK
Tyler Hamilton
Tyler Hamilton
DOB: 01/03/1971
Nationality: American
Best Tour: 15th - 2002
Tyler Hamilton has been one of the stars of professional cycling this season.

The American stunned the race favourites in the Liege-Bastogne-Liege, overcoming the form book to steal a stunning victory.

To prove it was not simply a flash in the pan, he followed it up the following week with a compelling win in the Tour of Romandie at the start of May.

Starting the fifth and final day 43 seconds off the pace, he put in a superb individual time trial to win by 33 seconds.

The two victories give Hamilton the confidence required to take into this year's Tour de France and improve on his 15th place from a year ago.

Although that was five places behing team-mate Carlos Sastre, he looks set to have the full backing of his team-mates from the race start in Paris.

Hamilton's preparations have been some way better than a year ago.

In 2002, he was second in the Giro d'Italia but then suffered a broken shoulder which severely hampered his build-up. Despite that, he still managed to impress.

Hamilton argues he has the knowledge and ability to win the overall race and become the third American winner, after Greg Lemond and Lance Armstrong.

His background backs that up, having been Armstrong's most trusted lieutenant before leaving the US Postal to focus on being a team leader in his own right.

He has already warned he will use his past experience to upset Armstrong throughout July.

He told BBC Sport: "Riding with a champion as incredible as Lance is always going to rub off on you. I saw how he worked as a leader and his decision-making.

"I've picked up a lot of things from him and hopefully they'll come back to haunt him one day."

Team boss Bjarne Riis believes Hamilton has the right attributes to win the overall race.

And, with the likes of Sastre, Nicki Sorensen and Lars Michaelsen among others, he could at least be in contention for a podium finish.

  • Armstrong on Hamilton: "My former team mate Tyler Hamilton is an all-round rider. He has everything it takes to win a big stage race - he's good in time trials and he climbs well. To me, he's a real threat."

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