Hamilton outsprints Caldwell for professional road championship

Greenville, S.C. (August 31, 2008)--One of the most decorated American cyclists of his generation, Tyler Hamilton (Boulder, Colo./Rock Racing) can now add the title of USA Cycling Professional Champion to a résumé that also boasts an Olympic gold medal and Tour de France stage win. 
The 37-year-old pro on the verge of retirement outsprinted Blake Caldwell (Boulder, Colo./Garmin-Chipotle) in a photo finish, claiming the Stars-and-Stripes jersey by mere centimeters after 177 kilometers of racing on Sunday. Although both were credited with the same finishing time – 4 hours, 38 minutes and 19 seconds – replays showed Hamilton crossed the line .002 of a second ahead of Caldwell.
Danny Pate (Colorado Springs, Colo./Garmin-Chipotle) rounded out the podium, finishing four seconds behind the leading pair, while Lucas Euser (Napa, Calif./Garmin-Chipotle) was fourth and Jeffery Louder (Salt Lake City, Utah/BMC) fifth at five and six seconds respectively.
On a course that was defined by four ascents up Paris Mountain, Hamilton took the win as one of four riders to mark a late race attack by Pate. After cresting the race’s signature climb for the final time, 25 riders were still in contention for the win when Pate escaped from the field. Hamilton gave chase along with Louder, Caldwell and Euser as the quartet eventually made contact with Pate in the closing miles. With numbers on his side, Caldwell then made the next attack and Hamilton responded. The pair held its lead throughout the final two finishing circuits in downtown Greenville as Caldwell appeared to take the sprint until a well-timed bike throw by Hamilton in the final dash to the line proved to be the difference. The race was too close to call by the naked eye as officials later determined Hamilton was the winner after reviewing images of the finish.
Pate’s third-place finish marked the fifth time he’s placed in the top five in the last seven years of the USA Cycling Professional Championships. He was fifth in 2007 after a pair of second-place efforts in 2006 and 2005. He also placed third in 2002.
After three years in Greenville and the expiration of its commitment to hold its pro championships there, USA Cycling announced after the race that the event would return to the city in 2009.
About USA Cycling   
Recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the Union Cycliste Internationale, USA Cycling is the official governing body for all disciplines of competitive cycling in the United States, including road, track, mountain bike, BMX and cyclo-cross. As a membership-based organization and sanctioning body, USA Cycling consists of 64,000+ members, including 57,000 competitive cyclists, 1,500 coaches, 4,000 student-athletes, 2,200 officials, 350 professional cyclists, and 200 certified mechanics. USA Cycling also sanctions 2,500 competitive and non-competitive organized cycling events throughout the United States annually, as well as 1,800 clubs and teams. Associations of USA Cycling include the United States Cycling Federation (road, track & cyclo-cross), the National Off-Road Bicycle Association (mountain bike), the BMX Association, the National Collegiate Cycling Association and the United States Professional Racing Organization. USA Cycling is also responsible for the identification, development, support and promotion of American cyclists through various athletic initiatives and programs including the USA Cycling National Development Team, the USA Cycling Women’s National Team, the USA Cycling Junior Development Team, Talent Identification and Regional Development Camps, domestic and international race calendars, direct athlete funding and support programs, and educational camps and seminars. USA Cycling also fields and supports U.S. National Teams for various international events, including the Olympic Games, World Championships, Pan American Games, Continental Championship and World Cups across all levels and disciplines of competitive cycling. USA cycling further supports grass roots and locally-based initiatives through its 32 Local Associations and comprehensive network of licensed and certified coaches and officials. Additionally, USA Cycling conducts National Championship events for amateur and professional cyclists, awarding more than 600 national titles annually to men and women in junior, U23, masters, elite, professional and paralympic categories throughout the various disciplines of competitive cycling. To learn more about USA Cycling, visit www.usacycling.org. For media-related or general inquiries, please contact USA Cycling Director of Communications, Andy Lee at 719-866-4867 or alee@usacycling.org.   

This Article Published September 1, 2008 For more information contact: