Remotivated George Hincapie set to continue for at least two seasons
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Monday, January 18, 2010

Remotivated Hincapie set to continue for two more

by Conal Andrews at 10:32 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

On the heels of the disappointment of not taking yellow during last year’s Tour de France, there were rumours that George Hincapie was contemplating retirement from the sport. Instead, the affable American is competing for the BMC Racing Team in 2010 and has just confirmed that he has no plans to pack up anytime soon.

“Without doubt, I’ll continue for at least two more years,” the 36 year old told Biciciclismo. “I still love this sport. There are races that I want to participate in and, besides, I still have goals to achieve.”

Hincapie went close to the Maillot Jaune in last year’s Tour de France, going clear in a large escape move on stage 14 to Besancon, but missing out by just five seconds. He was deeply disappointed at the lost opportunity, particularly as a number of teams appeared to work to foil his attempt.

Deciding to continue in the European peloton, he then moved from HTC Columbia to BMC over the winter. He is now set to return to the support role for a GC captain that he carried out for many years with Lance Armstrong.

This time round, Hincapie will be working for Cadel Evans, the team’s undisputed leader for the Grand Tours. Evans has twice finished second in the Tour de France and he’s hoping to finally top the podium this year. Helping the Australian there is one of Hincapie’s big targets, and so too some other big races beforehand.

“Throughout my career it has been an ambition to win Flanders and Roubaix and the two monuments are certainly among my goals this year,” he explained. “I would also like to win a stage in the Tour of California. And if we are invited to the Tour de France, I would be in the best shape possible to help Cadel.

“I think Cadel can do it. Having been second twice, he has demonstrated the ability to win the Tour. In my opinion he is one of the most complete riders of the peloton. With a strong team that will support and good luck on his side, he can definitely win the Tour.”

However it’s clear that there are other favourites for the title and, for the first time ever, Hincapie will find himself working in direct competition to Lance Armstrong’s yellow jersey ambitions. He was part of the US Postal and Discovery Channel teams for each of the Texan’s seven Tour wins, and feels that a great battle is in store.

“Without doubt, it [the 2009 race] was one of the most exciting Tours in recent years. This year can be one of the most exciting Tours ever,” he said. “Although Contador is the reigning champion and the favorite to repeat, Lance and the Schleck brothers are also candidates to win the general.”

Hincapie is due to line out in the first stage of the Tour Down Under tomorrow. He will then ride the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Tirreno-Adriatico, Milan-San Remo, Gent-Wevelgem, Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Tour of California and, team invitation permitting, the Tour de France.

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