The view from the saddle is magnifique for Tyler Hamilton, the
hottest U.S. cyclist not named Lance. Last month Hamilton, the
lead rider for Denmark's top professional team, CSC Tiscali,
pulled off a rare double by winning the Liege-Bastogne-Liege and
the Tour de Romandie. Here he talks about what he'll pack for his
2,082-mile journey in the Tour de France.
Cervelo Soloist Team ($2,299) www.cervelo.com
I've won twice this year with this bike, so it's safe to say I'm
getting results. It has a slick-looking aluminum frame that's
very responsive and stiff, and it weighs only 15.6 pounds. I love
the Speedplay Zero pedals. They're super easy to clip into and
they're very light.
Cervelo R2.5 Carbon ($1,899) www.cervelo.com
I just got this new prototype last week, and I'm excited to use
it in the Tour. This is the ultimate ride for attacking the big
mountains. It weighs just 15 pounds, the minimum weight allowed
for a bike [by the Union Cycliste Internationale]. I took this
bad boy for a training ride on the L'Alpe d'Huez, where it felt
like it was pushing itself up the hill.
Oakley M Frames G-30 Prescription Lenses ($145 for frames)
I need my vision to be crystal clear when I'm racing during the
day. I prefer to use lenses that keep sweat and dust out without
sacrificing depth perception. You can't afford vision problems
when you have 200 riders within centimeters of each other. These
sunglasses help me react that much faster when I see a crash or a
turn coming up ahead.
Oakley D2 Performance Series ($120) www.oakley.com
I don't need to know the time when I race, but it's nice to use a
watch to chart my progress during training rides. This stopwatch
can store up to 100 split times, which is way more than I need
when I work the hills around my home in Girona, Spain. When it
gets dark or rainy, I flip the bright switch, and the watch
practically lights up the whole street.
Bell Ghisallo ($125) www.bellsports.com
A lot of riders don't like wearing helmets because they get
really hot and you overheat quickly. Now they're mandatory, since
a rider was killed during the Paris-Nice race in March when he
crashed without a helmet. This is my favorite helmet because I
stay cool in all conditions. With 17 vents, it keeps my head from
feeling as if it's going to explode.
Giordana CSC Edition Half Zip ($64.99) www.giordana.com
I'm really attached to the look of our team kit. The front of the
jersey is designed to look like an eagle's wings in honor of our
team manager, Bjarne (the Eagle) Riis, who won the '96 Tour de
France. The microfiber fabric feels paper-thin, which is perfect
when you're sweating for seven hours.
Alinco DJ-C5T ($149.99) www.alinco.com
I don't know how I would survive without one of these things. I
owe my second-place finish at the 2002 Giro D'Italia to this
credit-card-sized device. I totaled my bike on a mountain
descent. I would've lost valuable time, but I was able to radio
for help and quickly borrow a teammate's bike.
Nike Ligure Mountain Cycling Shoe ($239.95) www.nike.com
The last thing you need when you're huffing and puffing through
the Pyrenees is something that will bog you down. The
carbon-fiber soles are extralight and stiff, which means all the
energy pushing into my shoes transfers straight to the pedals.
The adjustable Velcro straps make it easy to alter the fit, even
at 50 mph.
Giordana Cycling Bib Shorts ($69.99) www.giordana.com
Saddle sores are a common problem in our sport. I haven't had any
trouble down there yet. When I wear shorts, I make sure I choose
a good chamois, a padded piece of cloth in the groin area.
Giordana makes three types of chamois, and I prefer a thick,
Union Cycliste Internationale Livret De Sante
This is every pro rider's passport, and it might be the single
most valuable item I own, because without it I can't race.
Whether my doctor is prescribing me medication for tendinitis or
I'm getting tested for doping, my entire medical history gets
recorded and stamped in this booklet.
ELEVEN COLOR PHOTOS: NORBERT SCHMIDT (11)