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US Cyclist Hamilton to Race in Tour de France

tylerhamilton.jpgLeader of Phonak Hearing Systems Cycling Team eyes top place

Stfa, 27th February 2004 - American Tyler Hamilton, last year's fourth place winner in the Tour de France, will repeat his rendezvous with this prestigious cycling event this year as a member of the Phonak Hearing Systems Team. Phonak Hearing Systems' cycling team recently received the official invitation to race in this year's Tour de France. The Phonak team is ranked in the top ten on the world cycling scene, but this is their first invitation to the Tour de France. Hamilton, who participated in compiling the talent on this year's Phonak team, is considered the team leader and has his sights set on the number one Tour de France place this year.

Andy Rihs, board president of Phonak Hearing Systems, expressed his confidence in the Phonak cycling team and its Tour de France invitation by saying, "I knew it would work out this time. We built ourselves up in such a way that they couldn't pass us by anymore." He added, "We will do everything possible to prepare ourselves for this top event."

This year's Phonak Hearing System's cycling team was built over a period of time, with particular cyclists hand-picked for specific athletic talents and potential contributions to the team. Team manager Urs Freuler points out that Hamilton's insight for the composition of the team were considered, as they judged each cyclist's qualities. "Jose-Enrique Gutierrez and Santos Gonzalez are very good helpers in the team time trials and in the mountains. Santi Perez and Oscar Pereiro can be depended on in the mountains and on flat surfaces. All-round Bert Grabsch can be very helpful on flat courses and in the team time trials. If Alex Zlle also announces his presence, he will add his great deal of experience on mountain courses and in team races against the clock.

As the team looks towards the June race, they are courting athletes who can contribute to the mass sprint. The Tour de France will be held this year from July 3 through July 25. The race criss-crosses France, starting at Liege and ending at the landmark Paris Champs-Elysees arch. American Lance Armstong has won the Tour de France title for the last five years.

About the Phonak Cycling Team
Why is it that Tyler Hamilton, Oscar Sevilla, Oscar Camenzind and their team colleagues race for better hearing? Apart from the sports aspects there are also other motivating factors. These top sportsmen intend to contribute to the elimination of the stigma which is still attached to the use of hearing instruments. They want better hearing to be victorious.

50 % of the population is affected directly or indirectly by hearing loss.

The Phonak cycling team races to spread the word about better hearing. For more information about Phonak and the cycling team visit www.phonak.com.

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