Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Boy, George!

I haven't been cycling for very long, around 8 months. I've been a fan of cycling on TV for even less time, but I can already tell you who my favorite pro is - George Hincapie. Ask most Americans who their favorite cyclist is, and they'll tell you Lance Armstrong with good reason. Armstrong's won 7 straight Tour de Frances. More importantly he's inspired millions as a cancer survivor and through his LIVESTRONG foundation. However, I don't think it would be a stretch to say Armstrong wound never have ascended the podium in Paris those seven times without George Hincapie. Hincapie is the consummate teammate, willing to eschew personal glory in favor of team success. His humble nature has made him one of the most respected cyclists in the peloton. Should anyone ever doubt his toughness, George revealed today on his Twitter page that he rode the final four stages of the Tour de France (including Mont Ventoux) with a broken collarbone!

Hincapie's Twitter Page Today

This just rubbed salt in the wounds caused by Hincapie's 2009 Tour de France. His team Columbia HTC achieved tremendous success, with Hincapie helping lead out sprinter Mark Cavendish to an amazing six stage wins. However, personally Hincapie lost out on the dream of donning the Maillot jaune (French for yellow jersey) by just five seconds during Stage 14 when a couple of teams in the peloton unexpectedly decided to close the gap Hincapie had finished with. Anyone who saw his post-ride interview could hear the disappointment in his voice when he lost the overall lead. It was just more bad luck for the man who seems to cross paths with black cats and walk under ladders before the Paris - Roubaix every year.

When asked about his future after the Tour de France this year, Hincapie was very vague. Having just turned 36, he was unsure as to if he would return in 2010 for another Tour. He also revealed his contract was up for renewal with Columbia HTC. Interesting news considering Lance Armstrong just announced his new RadioShack Team. I've got a feeling one of the first people Lance hopes to sign up will be his good friend George. It might have been a rough year in 2009 for Hincapie, but there's still plenty of fans who want to see him take another victory lap before riding off into the sunset.

No comments:

Post a Comment