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Up for the ride

Hamilton continues Tour with broken collarbone

Posted: Monday July 07, 2003 7:04 AM

LA FERTE SOUS JOUARRE, France (Reuters) -- American Tyler Hamilton said he owed it to himself to carry on after starting the second stage of the Tour de France on Monday with a broken collarbone.

The CSC team leader, a versatile rider who finished second in the Giro d'Italia last year, suffered the injury in a massive crash near the end of the first stage Sunday.

Hamilton, 30, was taken to hospital with serious pain in his right shoulder and he was later diagnosed with a broken collarbone. Former teammate and four-times champion Lance Armstrong suffered bruising and grazes but escaped serious injury in the melee.

"My shoulder is very painful. But I owe it to myself to try and carry on," Hamilton told reporters before the start of the 204 kms stage to Sedan.

"Our therapist worked on it a lot last night because the muscles around the collarbone were extremely tight.

"I feel a little better this morning, but how far I can go depends on the fracture. For now it is still together.

"It's my decision to start, there was no pressure from the team."

The rider from Massachussetts, who has a history of shoulder problems, has shown great courage in the past.

He finished second in the Giro last year with a broken left shoulder and later broke his right collarbone in training for the Grand Prix Eddy Merckx in August 2002.

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