Denmark the Kingdom of Denmark, is a Nordic country and the southernmost of the Scandinavian nations. Denmark lies southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, is bordered to the south by Germany; the Kingdom of Denmark comprises two autonomous constituent countries in the North Atlantic Ocean: the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Denmark proper consists of a peninsula, an archipelago of 443 named islands, with the largest being Zealand and the North Jutlandic Island; the islands are characterised by flat, arable land and sandy coasts, low elevation and a temperate climate. Denmark has a total area of 42,924 km2, land area of 42,394 km2, the total area including Greenland and the Faroe Islands is 2,210,579 km2, a population of 5.8 million. The unified kingdom of Denmark emerged in the 10th century as a proficient seafaring nation in the struggle for control of the Baltic Sea. Denmark and Norway were ruled together under one sovereign ruler in the Kalmar Union, established in 1397 and ending with Swedish secession in 1523.
The areas of Denmark and Norway remained under the same monarch until Denmark -- Norway. Beginning in the 17th century, there were several devastating wars with the Swedish Empire, ending with large cessions of territory to Sweden. After the Napoleonic Wars, Norway was ceded to Sweden, while Denmark kept the Faroe Islands and Iceland. In the 19th century there was a surge of nationalist movements, which were defeated in the 1864 Second Schleswig War. Denmark remained neutral during World War I. In April 1940, a German invasion saw brief military skirmishes while the Danish resistance movement was active from 1943 until the German surrender in May 1945. An industrialised exporter of agricultural produce in the second half of the 19th century, Denmark introduced social and labour-market reforms in the early 20th century that created the basis for the present welfare state model with a developed mixed economy; the Constitution of Denmark was signed on 5 June 1849, ending the absolute monarchy, which had begun in 1660.
It establishes a constitutional monarchy organised as a parliamentary democracy. The government and national parliament are seated in Copenhagen, the nation's capital, largest city, main commercial centre. Denmark exercises hegemonic influence in the Danish Realm, devolving powers to handle internal affairs. Home rule was established in the Faroe Islands in 1948. Denmark negotiated certain opt-outs, it is among the founding members of NATO, the Nordic Council, the OECD, OSCE, the United Nations. Denmark is considered to be one of the most economically and developed countries in the world. Danes enjoy a high standard of living and the country ranks in some metrics of national performance, including education, health care, protection of civil liberties, democratic governance and human development; the country ranks as having the world's highest social mobility, a high level of income equality, is among the countries with the lowest perceived levels of corruption in the world, the eleventh-most developed in the world, has one of the world's highest per capita incomes, one of the world's highest personal income tax rates.
The etymology of the word Denmark, the relationship between Danes and Denmark and the unifying of Denmark as one kingdom, is a subject which attracts debate. This is centered on the prefix "Dan" and whether it refers to the Dani or a historical person Dan and the exact meaning of the -"mark" ending. Most handbooks derive the first part of the word, the name of the people, from a word meaning "flat land", related to German Tenne "threshing floor", English den "cave"; the -mark is believed to mean woodland or borderland, with probable references to the border forests in south Schleswig. The first recorded use of the word Danmark within Denmark itself is found on the two Jelling stones, which are runestones believed to have been erected by Gorm the Old and Harald Bluetooth; the larger stone of the two is popularly cited as Denmark's "baptismal certificate", though both use the word "Denmark", in the form of accusative ᛏᛅᚾᛘᛅᚢᚱᚴ tanmaurk on the large stone, genitive ᛏᛅᚾᛘᛅᚱᚴᛅᚱ "tanmarkar" on the small stone.
The inhabitants of Denmark are there called "Danes", in the accusative. The earliest archaeological findings in Denmark date back to the Eem interglacial period from 130,000–110,000 BC. Denmark has been inhabited since around 12,500 BC and agriculture has been evident since 3900 BC; the Nordic Bronze Age in Denmark was marked by burial mounds, which left an abundance of findings including lurs and the Sun Chariot. During the Pre-Roman Iron Age, native groups began migrating south, the first tribal Danes came to the country between the Pre-Roman and the Germanic Iron Age, in the Roman Iron Age; the Roman provinces maintained trade routes and relations with native tribes in Denmark, Roman coins have been found in Denmark. Evidence of strong Celtic cultural influence dates from this period in Denmark and much of North-West Europe and is among other things reflected in the finding of the Gundestrup cauldron; the tribal Danes came from the east Danish islands and Scania and spoke an early form of North Germanic.
Historians believe that before their arrival, most of Jutland and the nearest islands were settled by tribal J
2003 Tour de France
The 2003 Tour de France was a multiple stage bicycle race held from 5 to 27 July, the 90th edition of the Tour de France. It has no overall winner—although American cyclist Lance Armstrong won the event, the United States Anti-Doping Agency announced in August 2012 that they had disqualified Armstrong from all his results since 1998, including his seven Tour de France wins from 1999 to 2005; the event started and ended in Paris, covering 3,427 km proceeding clockwise in twenty stages around France, including six major mountain stages. Due to the centennial celebration, this edition of the tour was raced in France and did not enter neighboring countries. In the centenary year of the race the route recreated, in part, that of 1903. There was a special Centenaire Classement prize for the best-placed in each of the six stage finishes which match the 1903 tour - Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Paris, it was won with Thor Hushovd in second place. The 2003 Tour was honored with the Prince of Asturias Award for Sport.
Of the 198 riders the favorite was again Armstrong, aiming for a record equalling fifth win. Before the race, it was believed that his main rivals would include Iban Mayo, Aitor González, Tyler Hamilton, Ivan Basso, Gilberto Simoni, Jan Ullrich, Joseba Beloki but Armstrong was the odds-on favorite. Though he did go on to win the race, it is statistically, by Armstrong's own admission, his weakest Tour from his seven-year period of dominance over the race; the team selection was done in three rounds: in November 2002, the fourteen highest-ranking Union Cycliste Internationale teams would automatically qualify. The teams entering the race were: Qualified teams Invited teams Some notable cyclists excluded from the race were Mario Cipollini and Marco Pantani, whose teams Domina Vacanze–Elitron and Mercatone Uno–Scanavino were not selected; the absence of Cipollini, the reigning world champion, came as a surprise. The Tour organisation gave the reason. In the first round, the Coast team had been selected to compete, in January 2003 they signed Jan Ullrich.
Financial problems almost prevented the team from starting, but after Bianchi stepped in as a new sponsor, Team Bianchi was allowed to take the place of Team Coast. The Tour proved to be one more hotly contested than the previous years. Tyler Hamilton and Levi Leipheimer were involved in a crash early in the Tour. Leipheimer dropped out, Hamilton continued and got fourth place in the end while riding with a broken collarbone. In the Alps, Gilberto Simoni and Stefano Garzelli and second in the Giro d'Italia earlier the same year, could not keep up with Lance Armstrong and the other favorites; the same held for last year's number Santiago Botero. Joseba Beloki could, was in second-place overall when he crashed on a fast descent from the Cote de La Rochette, shortly after passing the Col de Manse into Gap; the crash was a result of a locked brake, caused by a lack of traction from melting tar on the road, which led to the tyre coming off the rim. Beloki broke his right femur and wrist, had to leave the Tour.
Armstrong made a detour through the field beside the road to avoid the fallen Beloki. Armstrong was in yellow, he and Alexander Vinokourov were both within short distance from Armstrong. Subsequent to Armstrong's statement to withdraw his fight against United States Anti-Doping Agency's charges, on 24 August 2012, the USADA said it would ban Armstrong for life and stripped him of his record seven Tour de France titles; that day it was confirmed in a USADA statement that Armstrong was banned for life and would be disqualified from any and all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to 1 August 1998, including forfeiture of any medals, winnings, finishes and prizes. On 22 October 2012, the Union Cycliste Internationale endorsed the USADA sanctions, decided not to award victories to any other rider or upgrade other placings in any of the affected events. There were four main individual classifications contested in the 2003 Tour de France, as well as a team competition; the most important was the general classification, calculated by adding each rider's finishing times on each stage.
There were time bonuses given at the end of each mass start stage. If a crash had happened within the final 1 km of a stage, not including time trials and summit finishes, the riders involved would have received the same time as the group they were in when the crash occurred; the rider with the lowest cumulative time was the winner of the general classification and was considered the overall winner of the Tour. The rider leading the classification wore a yellow jersey; the second classification was the points classification. Riders received points for finishing in the highest positions in a stage finish, or in intermediate sprints during the stage; the points available for each stage finish were determined by the stage's type. The leader was identified by a green jersey; the third classification was the mountains classification. Most stages of the race included one or more categorised climbs, in which points were awarded to the riders that reached the summit first; the climbs were categorised as fourth-, third-, second- or first-category and hors catégorie, with the more difficult climbs rated lower.
The leader wore a white jersey with red polka dots. The final individual classification was the young rider classification; this was calculated the same way as the general class
Vuelta a España
The Vuelta a España is an annual multi-stage bicycle race held in Spain, while occasionally making passes through nearby countries. Inspired by the success of the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France, the race was first organized in 1935; the race was prevented from being run by the Spanish Civil War and World War II in the early years of its existence. As the Vuelta gained prestige and popularity the race was lengthened and its reach began to extend all around the globe. Since 1979, the event has been staged and managed by Unipublic, until in 2014, when Amaury Sport Organisation acquired control, with both working together; the peloton expanded from a Spanish participation to include riders from all over the world. The Vuelta is a UCI World Tour event, which means that the teams that compete in the race are UCI ProTeams, with the exception of the wild card teams that the organizers can invite. Along with the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia, the Vuelta makes up cycling's prestigious, three-week-long Grand Tours.
While the route changes each year, the format of the race stays the same with the appearance of at least two time trials, the passage through the mountain chain of the Pyrenees, the finish in the Spanish capital Madrid. The modern editions of the Vuelta a España consist of 21 day-long segments, over a 23-day period that includes 2 rest days. All of the stages are timed to the finish, after finishing the riders' times are compounded with their previous stage times; the rider with the lowest aggregate time gets to don the red jersey. While the general classification garners the most attention there are other contests held within the Vuelta: the points classification for the sprinters, the mountains classification for the climbers, combination classification for the all-round riders, the team classification for the competing teams. First held in 1935 and annually since 1955, the Vuelta runs for three weeks in a changing route across Spain; the inaugural event saw 50 entrants face a 3,411 km course over only 14 stages, averaging over 240 km per stage.
It was inspired by the success of the Tours in France and Italy, the boost they brought to the circulations of their sponsoring newspapers. It was held in the spring late April, with a few editions held in June in the 1940s. In 1995, the race moved to September to avoid direct competition with the Giro d'Italia, held in May; as a result, the Vuelta is now seen as an important preparation for the World Championships, which moved to October the same year. A Vuelta was organized in August and September 1950; the course includes up to three time trials, a number of mountain stages. Since 1994, before, the Vuelta finished in the Spanish capital, although Bilbao and San Sebastián were long both recurring finish cities. Behind Madrid, three cities share second place for the most Vuelta departures: Gijón, one time finish city Jerez de la Frontera. In 1997, the Vuelta started abroad in Lisbon, Portugal; the first Vuelta to start outside the Iberian Peninsula took place in 2009, when the Dutch city of Assen hosted the prologue of the 64th Vuelta.
In 1999, for the first time, the course crossed the Alto de L'Angliru in Asturias, which climbs 1,573 meters over 12.9 km with grades as steep as 23.6 percent, making it one of the steepest climbs in Europe. Credit for the discovery of this climb and its addition to the Vuelta goes to Miguel Prieto; the overall leader at present wears a red jersey, although it has been the "Maillot amarillo" and the "Jersey de Oro" — the Spanish counterpart to the yellow jersey of the Tour de France. Other jerseys honor leader of the points competition. Other cycling jerseys are awarded, such as for points leaders in the "Metas Volantes" and for the combination category; the record for most wins is held by Roberto Heras of Spain, winner in 2000, 2003, 2004 and 2005. Spaniards have dominated. France, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland, Kazakhstan, the United States and Great Britain have had first-place finishers; the first races were run at the national level and were promoted by the bicycle manufacturers from Eibar.
The tour was Eibar – Madrid – Eibar, called the Grand Prix of the Republic. In the early 1935, former cyclist Clemente Lopez Doriga, in collaboration with Juan Pujol, director of the daily newspaper Informaciones, organized the Vuelta a España, with a distance 3431 km, in a total of 14 stages; the first stage took the riders from Madrid to Valladolid. That year saw the first great duel in the history of the Vuelta, between Belgium's Gustaaf Deloor, who won, Mariano Cañardo, Spanish runner-up; the second edition of the Vuelta held despite the delicate political situation, was marked by the Deeloor repeat, who this time held the lead from the first day to th
Road bicycle racing
Road bicycle racing is the cycle sport discipline of road cycling, held on paved roads. Road racing is the most popular professional form of bicycle racing, in terms of numbers of competitors and spectators; the two most common competition formats are mass start events, where riders start and race to set finish point. Stage races or "tours" take multiple days, consist of several mass-start or time-trial stages ridden consecutively. Professional racing has been most popular in Western Europe, centered on France, Spain and the Low Countries. Since the mid-1980s the sport has diversified with professional races now held on all continents of the globe. Semi-professional and amateur races are held in many countries; the sport is governed by the Union Cycliste Internationale. As well as the UCI's annual World Championships for men and women, the biggest event is the Tour de France, a three-week race that can attract over 500,000 roadside supporters a day. Road racing in its modern form originated in the late 19th century.
It began as an organized sport in 1868. The sport was popular in the western European countries of France, Spain and Italy, some of those earliest road bicycle races remain among the sport's biggest events; these early races include Liège–Bastogne–Liège, Paris–Roubaix, the Tour de France, the Milan–San Remo and Giro di Lombardia, the Giro d'Italia, the Volta a Catalunya, the Tour of Flanders. They provided a template for other races around the world. Cycling has been part of the Summer Olympic Games since the modern sequence started in Athens in 1896; the most competitive and devoted countries since the beginning of 20th century were Belgium and Italy road cycling spread in Colombia, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal and Switzerland after World War II. However nowadays as the sport grows in popularity through globalization, countries such as Kazakhstan, Russia, South Africa, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Ireland and the United States continue to produce world-class cyclists. Single-day race distances may be as long as 180 miles.
Courses may run from place to comprise one or more laps of a circuit. Races over short circuits in town or city centres, are known as criteriums; some races, known as handicaps, ages. Individual time trial is an event in which cyclists race alone against the clock on flat or rolling terrain, or up a mountain road. A team time trial, including two-man team time trial, is a road-based bicycle race in which teams of cyclists race against the clock. In both team and individual time trials, the cyclists start the race at different times so that each start is fair and equal. Unlike individual time trials where competitors are not permitted to'draft' behind each other, in team time trials, riders in each team employ this as their main tactic, each member taking a turn at the front while teammates'sit in' behind. Race distances vary from a few km to between 20 miles and 60 miles. Stage races consist of stages, ridden consecutively; the competitor with the lowest cumulative time to complete all stages is declared the overall, or general classification, winner.
Stage races may have other classifications and awards, such as individual stage winners, the points classification winner, the "King of the Mountains" winner. A stage race can be a series of road races and individual time trials; the stage winner is the first person to cross the finish line that day or the time trial rider with the lowest time on the course. The overall winner of a stage race is the rider who takes the lowest aggregate time to complete all stages. Three-week stage races are called Grand Tours; the professional road bicycle racing calendar includes three Grand Tours - the Giro d'Italia, the Tour de France, the Vuelta a Espana. Ultra-distance cycling races are long single stage events where the race clock continuously runs from start to finish, they last several days and the riders take breaks on their own schedules, with the winner being the first one to cross the finish line. Among the best-known ultramarathons is the Race Across America, a coast-to-coast non-stop, single-stage race in which riders cover 3,000 miles in about a week.
The race is sanctioned by the UltraMarathon Cycling Association. RAAM and similar events allow racers to be supported by a team of staff. A number of tactics are employed to reach the objective of a race; this objective is being the first to cross the finish line in the case of a single-stage race, clocking the least aggr
Tour de France
The Tour de France is an annual men's multiple stage bicycle race held in France, while occasionally passing through nearby countries. Like the other Grand Tours, it consists of 21 day-long stages over the course of 23 days; the race was first organized in 1903 to increase sales for the newspaper L'Auto and is run by the Amaury Sport Organisation. The race has been held annually since its first edition in 1903 except when it was stopped for the two World Wars; as the Tour gained prominence and popularity, the race was lengthened and its reach began to extend around the globe. Participation expanded from a French field, as riders from all over the world began to participate in the race each year; the Tour is a UCI World Tour event, which means that the teams that compete in the race are UCI WorldTeams, with the exception of the teams that the organizers invite. Traditionally, the race is held in the month of July. While the route changes each year, the format of the race stays the same with the appearance of time trials, the passage through the mountain chains of the Pyrenees and the Alps, the finish on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
The modern editions of the Tour de France consist of 21 day-long segments over a 23-day period and cover around 3,500 kilometres. The race alternates between counterclockwise circuits of France. There are between 20 and 22 teams, with eight riders in each. All of the stages are timed to the finish; the rider with the lowest cumulative finishing times is the leader of the race and wears the yellow jersey. While the general classification garners the most attention, there are other contests held within the Tour: the points classification for the sprinters, the mountains classification for the climbers, young rider classification for riders under the age of 26, the team classification for the fastest teams. Achieving a stage win provides prestige accomplished by a team's cycling sprinter specialist; the Tour de France was created in 1903. The roots of the Tour de France trace back to the emergence of two rival sports newspapers in the country. On one hand was Le Vélo, the first and the largest daily sports newspaper in France which sold 80,000 copies a day.
On the other was L'Auto, set-up by journalists and business-people including Comte Jules-Albert de Dion, Adolphe Clément, Édouard Michelin in 1899. The rival paper emerged following disagreements over the Dreyfus Affair, a cause célèbre that divided France at the end of the 19th century over the innocence of Alfred Dreyfus, a French army officer convicted—though exonerated—of selling military secrets to the Germans; the new newspaper appointed Henri Desgrange as the editor. He was a prominent owner with Victor Goddet of the velodrome at the Parc des Princes. De Dion knew him through his cycling reputation, through the books and cycling articles that he had written, through press articles he had written for the Clément tyre company. L'Auto was not the success. Stagnating sales lower than the rival it was intended to surpass led to a crisis meeting on 20 November 1902 on the middle floor of L'Auto's office at 10 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre, Paris; the last to speak was the most junior there, the chief cycling journalist, a 26-year-old named Géo Lefèvre.
Desgrange had poached him from Giffard's paper. Lefèvre suggested a six-day race of the sort popular on the track but all around France. Long-distance cycle races were a popular means to sell more newspapers, but nothing of the length that Lefèvre suggested had been attempted. If it succeeded, it would help L'Auto match its rival and put it out of business, it could, as Desgrange said, "nail Giffard's beak shut." Desgrange and Lefèvre discussed it after lunch. Desgrange was doubtful but the paper's financial director, Victor Goddet, was enthusiastic, he handed Desgrange the keys to the company safe and said: "Take whatever you need." L'Auto announced the race on 19 January 1903. The first Tour de France was staged in 1903; the plan was a five-stage race from 31 May to 5 July, starting in Paris and stopping in Lyon, Marseille and Nantes before returning to Paris. Toulouse was added to break the long haul across southern France from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. Stages would go through the night and finish next afternoon, with rest days before riders set off again.
But this proved too daunting and the costs too great for most and only 15 competitors had entered. Desgrange had never been wholly convinced and he came close to dropping the idea. Instead, he cut the length to 19 days, changed the dates to 1 to 19 July, offered a daily allowance to those who averaged at least 20 kilometres per hour on all the stages, equivalent to what a rider would have expected to earn each day had he worked in a factory, he cut the entry fee from 20 to 10 francs and set the first prize at 12,000 francs and the prize for each day's winner at 3,000 francs. The winner would thereby win six times; that attracted between 60 and 80 entrants – the higher number may have included serious inquiries and some who dropped out – among them not just professionals but amateurs, some unemployed, some adventurous. Desgrange seems not to have forgotten the Dreyfus Affair that launched his race and raised the passions of his backers, he announced his new race on 1 July 1903 by citing the writer Émile Zola, whose open letter J'Accuse…! led to Dreyfus's acquittal, establishing the florid style he used henceforth.
The first Tour de France started outside the Ca
Alex Zülle is a Swiss former professional road bicycle racer. During the 1990s he was one of the best cyclists in the world, winning back-to-back in the 1996 and 1997 Vuelta a España, taking second place in the 1995 and the 1999 Tour de France, he was world time-trial champion in Lugano in 1996. Zülle was born and brought up in Wil in the canton of St. Gallen, son of a Swiss father, Walter Zülle and Wilhelmine, from Brabant, Netherlands; as a child he wanted to be a skier but at 18 he was injured in an accident. He began cycling in the Netherlands for rehabilitation before giving up, his father, having bought cycling equipment, persuaded him to give cycling another go when they returned to Switzerland. After several years as a successful amateur, Zülle turned professional in 1991, he approached the former sporting director of the Swiss team, Paul Köchli, but Köchli signed Laurent Dufaux instead. Zülle approached Manolo Saiz, but was rebuffed because, among reasons, he did not contract riders who wore earrings.
Saiz softened and Zülle rode for ONCE as a stagaire or apprentice in the Volta a Catalunya. He attacked and finished third. Saiz relented and Zülle signed his first professional contract in September 1991, he remained with ONCE until 1997. Most of its riders were Spanish. Zülle spoke only Swiss-German when he joined but at the end of the Vuelta a España he answered journalists in Spanish. In 1998, Zülle joined Festina; the team was banned from the 1998 Tour de France amid doping allegations which became known as the Festina affair. Five Festina riders including Zülle admitted taking EPO. Zülle said, he said he was deprived of his spectacles during the police interview. On 28 November 1998, Zülle's haematocrit was found to be 52.3%, 2.3% over the limit. His career coincided with that of five-time Tour de France winner. Zülle was second in the Tour in 1999, he won the Vuelta a España and Tour de Suisse, stages in the Giro d'Italia. Zülle retired in 2004, held a party for his fans in Wil in October that year.
Doping at the Tour de France List of doping cases in cycling List of sportspeople sanctioned for doping offences Official website, some content available in English "Alex Zülle collected news and commentary". The New York Times. Works by or about Alex Zülle in libraries
Tyler Hamilton is an American former professional road bicycle racer. He is the only American rider to win one of the five Monuments of cycling, taking Liège–Bastogne–Liège in 2003. Hamilton became a professional cyclist in 1995 with the US Postal Service cycling team, he was a teammate of Lance Armstrong during the 1999, 2000 and 2001 Tours de France, where Armstrong won the general classification. He was a key asset for Armstrong, being a good climber as well as time-trialist. Hamilton appeared at the 2004 Summer Olympics. In 2004, he won a gold medal at the individual time trial; the first doping test after his Olympic victory gave a positive result, but because the backup sample was frozen, no doping offence could be proven. After he failed further doping tests at the 2004 Vuelta a España, Hamilton was suspended for two years from the sport. Hamilton came back after his suspension and became national road race champion in 2008. In 2009, Hamilton failed a doping test again, was banned for eight years, which caused him to retire.
In July 2010, he was subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury for the use of performance-enhancing drugs in cycling. In May 2011, Hamilton admitted that he had used banned substances in competition, returned his gold medal. In 2012, he co-authored a book The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, Winning at All Costs, which details his doping practices and experience in the world of cycling. On August 10, 2012 the International Olympic Committee stripped Hamilton of his 2004 gold medal. Hamilton attended Holderness School in New Hampshire, where he started cycling. After graduating in 1990, he attended the University of Colorado at Boulder as a ski racer and received a BA in economics in 1994. A back injury at the University of Colorado developmental ski team in September 1991 ended his skiing, he switched to cycling, he turned pro in 1995 for the Montgomery Bell Cycling team which became the U. S. Postal Service cycling team and raced for them in the 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001 Tour de France.
Hamilton protected Lance Armstrong in the mountains, was on Armstrong's first three Tour de France winning Postal squads and grew to stardom. Hamilton acted as a scout in individual time trials, riding as hard as possible to provide time-split comparisons for Armstrong. During this time he won the 1999 Danmark Rundt and the 2000 Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré, winning stages 4 and 5. In 2001, Hamilton left U. S. Postal for Team CSC, he was made a leader under manager Bjarne Riis. Hamilton fractured a shoulder in a crash in the 2002 Giro d'Italia but still managed to win stage 14 and finish second overall, under 2 minutes behind race winner Paolo Savoldelli; that year, he participated in the 2002 Tour de France, riding in support of Carlos Sastre and finished 15th overall. In 2003, Hamilton became the first American rider to win Liège–Bastogne–Liège, breaking away from a select group of riders around four kilometers from the line in wet conditions, he won the Tour de Romandie that year, as he prepared to race the Tour de France.
In the 2003 Tour de France he broke his collarbone on the first stage in a pile-up. Instead of withdrawing from the race, he stayed to finish the tour, exceeded everyone's expectations when he was able to follow and attack Armstrong up Alpe d'Huez on stage 8, he rode one of the Tour's most memorable feats, winning stage 16 with a 142 km solo breakaway, gaining two minutes over the field. For his stage win, Hamilton was awarded the Coeur de Lion prize, as the most daring racer of the stage, he returned home nationally recognized. In 2004, Hamilton joined the Phonak Hearing Systems, he assembled a team of good, well-known riders and prepared for racing in the upcoming Tour de France, winning the 2004 Tour of Romandie for the second year in a row. Furthermore, he placed 2nd in the 2004 Dauphine Libere, beating Armstrong up the Mont Ventoux time trial which promoted him to one of the Tour de France favorites. However, in the 2004 Tour de France he dropped out on stage 13, after back pain due to a crash on stage 6.
His former wife, Haven Hamilton and golden retriever Tugboat became recognizable at the races, appearing in photos and interviews. The bicycle racing publication VeloNews reported that Hamilton and his wife Haven amicably separated in spring 2008 after nine years' marriage, the couple subsequently divorced. Hamilton disclosed in an interview in April 2009 that he had been treated for depression for six years. At the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Hamilton won the gold medal in the men's individual time trial; that medal was placed in doubt on September 20, 2004, after he failed a test for blood doping at the Olympics. Two days after the announcement of his positive test at Athens, the IOC announced Hamilton would keep his medal because results could not be obtained from the second sample; the Athens lab had frozen the backup. The Russian Olympic Committee appealed to the International Court of Arbitration for Sport to give Hamilton's medal to Russian silver medalist Viatcheslav Ekimov. However, on June 27, 2006, the court rejected the request.
In the Vuelta a España, he won the stage 8 time trial on September 11, 2004, but left the race six days citing stomach problems. As winner of the stage, he was subjected to a doping test, he was told by the Union Cycliste Internationale on September 13, 2004