Tyler Hamilton reportedly inked a contract with the newly-formed Tinkoff Credit Systems professional continental team last month. The connection, long since rumored, was confirmed in an interview with owner Oleg Tinkoff, by a Russian newspaper, Sportcom. In the interview, Tinkoff named the American and Russia's Evgeni Petrov as the leaders of the team, and said that the squad will focus on several ProTour events; Milan-Sanremo, Tour of Lombardy, as well as the French and Belgian spring classics. The team will attempt to gain wild-card entries into the Grand Tours, in particular the Giro d'Italia, and endeavor to gain a ProTour license by 2009.
Hamilton himself has remained tight-lipped about any contracts, but did confirm in an interview this weekend that he had signed with a team for 2007, but refused to name the team. Linked to the Operación Puerto scandal, last month UCI president Pat McQuaid questioned the signing of riders such as Hamilton and Ullrich as a violation of the ProTour code of conduct due to their involvement in ongoing investigations. If Hamilton's connection to the Operación Puerto scandal holds weight in court when the case concludes next year, he could face a lifetime ban. However, following the recent clearing of riders including Ivan Basso and Santiago Botero, who have signed with teams after being implicated in Operación Puerto, Hamilton's hopes of re-joining the pro peloton are a possibility.
Cyclingnews coverage of Tyler Hamilton's case
November 26, 2006 - Confusion over Hamilton 'admission'
November 24, 2006 - Hamilton confirmes 2007 contract with Tinkoff
November 14, 2006 - Hamilton signed with Tinkoff?
November 13, 2006 - Hamilton has signed
October 31, 2006 - USA Cycling CEO on Puerto developments
October 21, 2006 - UCI questions value of teams hiring riders under suspension cloud
September 15, 2006 - USA Cycling informed about Hamilton
September 2, 2006 - Hamilton's World's aspirations dashed
August 29, 2006 - McQuaid on Pevenage, Hamilton, testing
August 26, 2006 - Hamilton file to be studied soon
August 22, 2006 - Extensive doping alleged for Hamilton
August 21, 2006 - Hamilton's "doping diary" from 2003 published
July 3, 2006 - Ullrich, Basso risk four years - life-long ban for Hamilton?
June 28, 2006 - Hamilton to keep Olympic time-trial gold medal
June 26, 2006 - Hamilton and Ullrich linked to Operación Puerto