July 23, 2003
cyclingnews.com talks to Stage 16 winner Tyler Hamilton, thriving despite a collarbone broken in two places in the big Stage 1 pileup:
"Of the seven Tours de France I've done, this race is by far the most painful, and it isn't even over yet. The pain I was going through in the first week was just brutal. I couldn't sleep and I just wanted to survive until the team time trial so that I could help my team mates out. After that stage I felt a little bit better, and I decided to go along, taking it day by day. At this point, my shoulder is better, but it's not a 100%. I still cannot sleep on my side, so I have to lay flat on my back, and I'm getting a bit sick of that. While on the bike, I can pull my handlebars, but I still feel a bit awkward when standing up."
Asked about claims (by Walter Godefroot, the Telekom manager and others) that his broken collarbone was an "American PR trick", Hamilton says:
"Well, Walter has the right to have an opinion, as have everyone else. I'm sad he said that though, and he is welcome to come and visit me anytime, and I'll show him my X-rays, where you can clearly see the two breaks. It disappoints me too, that he would say such a thing, because by doing that he calls me and my team for liars. I don't like it, but I guess that's life."
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