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Tyler Tunes: The greatest show on earth?!?

There is no shortage of great stories in cycling. Today's victor, Serge Baguet from Belgium is one example. He was a professional cyclist for about 7 years when he decided to hang up his bike and head back to Belgium to be a roofer. After three years of that he perhaps realized he left the sport of cycling too soon. Last year he returned to racing and today, he won a stage in the Tour de France. Any of you out there saying, woulda-shoulda-coulda should follow his lead and get back out there. You never know where your passion can take you. The U.S. Postal Service has transformed from

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By Tyler Hamilton, U.S. Postal Service Cycling Team

There is no shortage of great stories in cycling. Today’s victor, Serge Baguet from Belgium is one example. He was a professional cyclist for about 7 years when he decided to hang up his bike and head back to Belgium to be a roofer. After three years of that he perhaps realized he left the sport of cycling too soon.

Last year he returned to racing and today, he won a stage in the Tour de France. Any of you out there saying, woulda-shoulda-coulda should follow his lead and get back out there. You never know where your passion can take you.

The U.S. Postal Service has transformed from a cycling team to a circus act. I’m not talking about any new found juggling skills or amazing death defying feats here – I’m speaking of our new found status of freak side show. Last night our hotel’s dining room had giant windows facing the street.

As we ate our dinners a massive crowd formed outside. Gazes of men, women and children were fixed on our every move. You could almost imagine the commentary being whispered about in hushed tones as if these folks were on the sidelines at the Masters… “Psst. Didja catch that? George just ate some pasta…. Hold on, I think Eki’s taking a sip of water… Wow, Roberto hasn’t touched his bread… Wait a second, Vic’s reaching for the fruit salad…” Call me crazy for asking, but is any of this interesting stuff? We had an audience at breakfast this morning as well.

As I sat there, half asleep, trying to wake up while drinking my coffee – people were staring. Try to imagine how this feels tomorrow morning while you are sitting at your breakfast table with bed head.

Tonight we ate outside on the patio since it’s so hot. To provide a little privacy the staff moved our team bus and the mechanic’s truck to form walls around our table. Even still, there were a few folks peering around the corners. Some of my teammates are finding the humor in our situation and are starting to make animal noises as they eat. If you feel like a caged zoo animal, you might as well have a little fun and act like one I guess.

You have to love the support though. Without the interest of these folks you wouldn’t have this great sport of ours. But the intrigue can provide a little stress sometimes. Take for instance an interview Lance was trying to give earlier tonight. It was fed into ABC’s nightly news with Peter Jennings. Since, Mr. Jennings is back in New York, Lance was answering canned questions while speaking directly into a stationary camera.

It’s a difficult thing pretending to be conversing with another human being when all you are staring at is a mechanical object. Nonetheless, he is used to this kind of challenge – and pulled if off, I’m certain. Even though he had to do so with a collection of over 200 on-lookers.

Today was hot like you read about and my allergies are making me crazy. They’ve been in full swing since we arrived here in the South – nothing like adding a little lung butter to the mix, I always say. I’m getting laser treatments to break up the congestion in my sinuses and chest. I have no idea if it’s helping, but it makes me feel like I’m readying to do battle with intergalactic space enemies. And hey, whatever keeps you going.

It’s so hot here in our hotel room that I’m sitting with my feet hanging out the window. And I know someone is staring at them.

Thanks for reading.