Is George Hincapie still mad?
When we last left Big George in Besancon at the end of stage 14 of the Tour de France, George was angry and insulted. He was furious at team Garmin and Astana for riding against him. Worse, he felt betrayed by his close friend Lance Armstrong, who certainly had the power and influence to call off the chase that kept Hincapie from his first and perhaps only yellow jersey.
Six weeks later, Hincapie might still be ticked off. With his contract at Columbia-HTC up, speculation had him signing with Armstrong’s new Radio Shack team. Hincapie, after all, had ridden with Armstrong for all seven of his Tour de France victories. Instead, Hincapie, who just won his third US Pro Championship, heads to BMC with a two year contract.
“Definitely the idea of working with the young team and helping to build the program appealed to me,” Hincapie said in a team press release. “I know a lot of the American racers on the team already.” The American-Swiss squad is making a major bid for Pro-Tour status by also signing reigning world champion Alessandro Ballan.
“When we started with the idea of the BMC Racing Team, we had a plan which would one day elevate us to the highest level of professional racing,” said co-owners Jim Ochowicz and Andy Rihs. “That day is today.”
For Hincapie, perhaps that day came back on July 19th in Besancon, France. The day he decided he’d never ride with Lance again.