Is this more fallout from the USADA Reasoned Decision? Along with sponsors fleeing, teams dying, riders outed, UCI under fire and lawsuits galore, has Big George Hincapie lost his own signature?
After admitting to Federal investigators and the USADA that he had doped along with best friend Lance Armstrong and the US Postal crew, Hincapie went into immediate retirement. But if what we’re seeing is true, Hincapie not only lost his credibility and sterling reputation, he lost his signature line of cycling apparel.
Last year the Hincapie Sportswear website featured the Hincapie signature line — which included jerseys, bib shorts and rain gear. With a top dollar price tag, the Signature apparel featured Big George’s name written in bold script. In fact, we happen to own the fantastic Signature eVent rain vest.
Well, his Signature line is history although he did manage to keep his pants. The Hincapie denim collection remains intact — which we figure is because they’re made in Colombia where they tend to churn out jeans.
Did George and his brother Rich decide the Signature line no longer had the same attraction? Did they beat a strategic product retreat by removing his name or was this simply a case of re-evaluating sales and cutting what wasn’t moving off the shelves?
The Hincapie Timeline in the About section of his website makes no mention of his new status, Post-USADA but does list this achievement: “helps Lance Armstrong win his record-breaking 7th Tour de France in a row.” Travis Tygart is not the webmaster of the Hincapie site.
Twisted Spoke thinks the loss of the Hincapie Signature line is driven by George’s fall from grace after his USADA affidavit revealed his six years of using illegal doping products and blood transfusions. Levi Leipheimer got fired, Armstrong was burned in effigy and George loses his name.
Still, you’d have to admit Big George got off pretty light compared to his pal Lance Armstrong. He still has his Arenberg bib and his Ronde vest but in the great fire he did lose some of his clothing.