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Hamilton helps you beat the clock
Around the Academy:

Tyler Hamilton
Here comes one of the world's leading time triallists
Tyler Hamilton, touted by Lance Armstrong, as a future winner of the Tour de France, was crowned Olympic time-trial champion in Athens.

He beat Lance's US Postal team-mate, Viatcheslav Ekimov into second place, with Tyler's compatriot Bobby Julich bagging bronze.

Winning the gold medal made up for the disappointment of having to pull out of the 2004 Tour with a back injury.

Tyler is reknowned for his ability against the clock and his amazing courage.

The plucky American rode almost the entire 2003 Tour with a fractured collarbone, won Stage 16 and finished an incredible 4th place overall!

Recently, six-time Tour champ Lance said he believed Hamilton's superb time-trialling skills were one of the major strings to his bow.

Well after Tyler's sizzling performance in the Athens heat to grab gold, it looks like Lance got it spot on - again!

Here Tyler unveils to the Academy the trick to beating the clock.



Tyler Hamilton


The prologue, which we have earlier in the race, is not really that big a deal. The list is endless of who can click on the day and take the yellow jersey.

What is of far greater importance is the two individual time trials, as well as the team time trial.

Of course the mountains are crucial as well but Lance's ability against the clock has set him up for victory in the last four years, as it did with Miguel Indurain before him.

Lance is beatable in the time trial - you only have to go back a year ago to see what Santiago Botero did to him in the opening time trial. But you need to be at your peak to do it.

Equipment is a major factor - you need a specialist bike - not your ordinary road bike - as well as an aerodynamic helmet.

I know some people don't think these things make much of a difference but every second counts over a three-week race.

Tyler Hamilton in the midst of a time trial
Hamilton's equipment is crucial to his time trialling

Before you even get on a bike, you have to be at the peak of your physical fitness. There are few harder things than pushing yourself to the limit against the clock.

As important as that is the mental side of things - if you're in the right frame of mind you feel you can beat anyone. If you're not, you're done for before you even set off.

When you're waiting to be sent out you visualise the course in front of you and steady yourself to be lightning out of the blocks.

But after the initial surge it is vital to get in a rhythm that is comfortable for you and not go too fast.

If you sprint off too much, your energy level is totally sapped by the time it comes to the latter stages when you really need to give that extra push.

It's an unnatural position to be in, so you need as much practice as physically possible for the ardour of it.

Time trialling may be quite a selfish side to cycling, a rare day when you solely look after number one.

But the thing that really drives me on is that my team will spend the whole three weeks focusing on me and this is the day I can repay them and show that it is all worthwhile.

Well, that's the plan anyway.


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Did you know?
Tyler Hamilton used to be team-mates with six-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong

Tyler facts
Born: 01.03.71
Team: Phonak
Height: 1.73m
Weight: 63kg
Tour de France: 1998 - 51st; 1999 - 13th; 2000 - 25th; 2002 - 15th; 2003 - 4th; 2004 - DNF


FROM THE BBC >>
:: Hamilton wins time trial


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