Tyler Hamilton is an American former professional road bicycle racer. He is the only American rider to win one of the five Monuments of cycling, taking Liège–Bastogne–Liège in 2003.
Hamilton became a professional cyclist in 1995 with the US Postal Service cycling team. He was a teammate of Lance Armstrong during the 1999, 2000 and 2001 Tours de France, where Armstrong won the general classification. He was a key asset for Armstrong as Hamilton was responsible for protecting Lance Armstrong in the mountain stages of the Tour, as it was hard for other teammates to keep up. Hamilton also acted as a scout in the individual time trial stages, riding as hard as possible without regard to his finishing performance to provide time-split comparisons for Armstrong.
In 2001 Hamilton left U.S. Postal and signed with Team CSC. He was made a team leader under the tutelage of manager Bjarne Riis. Hamilton fractured a shoulder in a crash in the 2002 Giro D'Italia, yet still managed to finish second. Hamilton won both the Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Tour de Romandie in 2003. In the 2003 Tour de France he cracked a collarbone in the first stage, but stayed in the race. He went on to win stage 16 with a 142 km solo breakaway, and placed fourth overall. For his stage win, Hamilton was awarded the Coeur de Lion (French for Heart of the Lion) prize, awarded to the most aggressive and daring racer of the stage.
Hamilton appeared at the 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympics. In 2004, he won a gold medal at the individual time trial.
Hamilton became national road race champion in 2008. In July 2010, he was subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury for the use of performance-enhancing drugs in cycling. In May 2011, Hamilton admitted that he had used banned substances in competition, and returned his gold medal. In 2012, he co-authored a book The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs, which details his doping practices and experience in the world of cycling.
Late in 2003, Hamilton founded The Tyler Hamilton Foundation to raise funds for the Multiple Sclerosis Society, and to help amateur cyclists rise through the ranks.
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