The Electric Commentary

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Congratulations to Big George Hincapie

Lance Armstrong is poised to win his 7th Tour de France. Throughout all seven, George Hincapie has been his first lieutenant on the US Postal/Discovery Channel team. In the cycling world it's tough for more than one rider on a team to make a statement in a stage race. Although Hincapie has had some individual glory in some tough races, winning this year's Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, and placing second at the Paris-Roubaix Classic, we know him best as Lance's strongest domestique. He's an all around rider, like Lance. He climbs well and he can sprint with the best of them (he was fourth in the Tour prologue). But yesterday Big George (at 6'3" he a monster for a cyclist) made a hell of a statement by winning the most difficult stage of the entire Tour. Hincapie joined an early breakaway in the 127 mile 15th stage through the Pyrenees. He sat at the back of the breakaway waiting for Lance to join him but when the Breakaway had an 18 minute lead on Lance and the rest of the Pelaton, George was given the go-ahead from his team officials to race for himself. He pulled away with only Spanish climber Oscar Pereiro of Phonak. With 300 meters to go, the race was all Hincapie. Pereiro can climb, but Hincapie can climb AND sprint. He's a class act and he deserves the win as much as he deserves the podium girl (the babes that present stage winners with their flowers and with kisses on the cheek) that he married.

4 Comments:

  • I was really excited to see Hincapie finally win a stage in the tour. He's a great team rider and he's come close to a stage win several times in the past. The manner in which he won was a little disappointing, however. He basically sat in the breakaway all day and let the other riders, including Pereiro, do all of the work. I don't know enough about the unwritten rules of competitive cycling to know if this is really a big faux pas, but it definitely gave him an advantage. Still, he had a great ride and I'm pretty sure he would have won the stage even if he had been taking turns at the front, so its probably a moot point.

    By Blogger dhodge, at 9:37 AM  

  • I didn't see it because I don't have cable so I only caught the clips. I got the impression that he was holding back in the breakaway waiting up for Lance. Did it look like he was just drafting and not taking the lead?

    By Blogger DannyNoonan, at 10:05 AM  

  • Based on the coverage that I saw and the commentary during the race, it looked like Hincapie was riding in the breakaway but not doing as much work for the group as the rest of the riders. At the start of the race, this made sense because he was only up there in case something happend to Lance. Once it became clear that the breakaway wasn't going to get caught, I'm not sure if he changed his tactics at all. By then, it almost didn't matter, since they were riding up the face of the final climb where drafting isn't even that much of an advantage.

    By Blogger dhodge, at 10:55 AM  

  • I just wish I had gotten to see Saturday's stage. I was working Saturday morning, so only caught the updates via letour.fr.

    By Anonymous mitch, at 12:50 PM  

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