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Stage 16 Post-race Interviews: Armstrong and Hamilton
By Locutus
Date: 7/23/2003
Stage 16 Post-race Interviews: Armstrong and Hamilton

Stage winner Tyler Hamilton: "I mean, this is incredible. A few days ago I started getting extremely tired, and I felt like I was starting to pay for all the suffering I'd done since the crash in Stage 1. Bjarne Riis gave the team - we had a meeting last night, and he told the team to stay focused, there are five stages left, to keep the morale high and keep fighting. The team did that today. I'm very happy. I owe today, I dedicate this victory to my teammates because at the beginning of the race, I was caught in the 2nd group, the peloton split, and they dropped back five riders to help me catch back on. Without their help, I wouldn't have won today."

On whether he had decided to attack before the stage: "It just depended: if my legs felt good, I was going to try. It worked out perfectly because I had a teammate up the road in the breakaway [Nicki Sørensen] and he dropped back from the breakaway and helped me bridge up, and then he rode hard, as hard as he could, until the last climb."

On whether he could climb higher on GC in the time trial: "I have no idea where I sit now. For me, I'm just excited about the victory."

Race Leader Lance Armstrong on Tyler Hamilton: "[Smiling] When he went in the beginning I was like, 'Whoa, Ty, that's a bold move.' But at the end, you know, the teams were chasing and [the time gap] stayed about five minutes, and then five minutes, and then five minutes, and I said, 'They'll never catch him,' because I mean, he's a great time trialist, and when you get out there and you know that the stage win's on the line…. And they weren't organized, everyone was tired. [shakes head] They'll never get him."

On the ride and tactics of Postal today: "It was good. I guess the other good news, I mean, the team was so good today, George was climbing up that one climb, there were twenty guys left, George was just on the front noodlin'. The team was great today; we didn't have to use them, but they were ready."

On the time trial this coming Saturday: "My goal is to win the stage. I've never lost a final time trial in the Tour de France, and I don't plan on starting this year. Ullrich will be difficult to beat, but going in, my objective is to win. I know the course, I've done the training, I've got everything ready. I guess it just depends on how I feel and how he feels. I can tell you that I sleep a lot easier with 1' 07" than I did with 15".

On the days leading up to the Luz-Ardiden: "You know me. I mean, I was not a nice person."

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