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Old 12-24-06, 02:09 PM   #1
Dubbayoo
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Hincapie to focus on Classics again

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With the departure of Leif Hoste, Roger Hammond, Max van Heeswijk and Vjatcheslav Ekimov, American team Discovery Channel has lost some of its assets for a successful pre-Tour de France Classics season in 2007. "We are weakened for the Classics," admitted directeur sportif Dirk Demol to Dutch Wielrensite. Still, the team has retained George Hincapie, Vladimir Gusev and Stijn Devolder for the spring in Belgium and Northern France.

"With Hincapie, we have a deal that he will going after the Classics again this year," added Demol. "In 2006, Hincapie focused on the Tour, which didn't work out. He was disillusioned with his performance and put aside his Tour plans again."
I love this decision.
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Old 12-24-06, 02:11 PM   #2
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Does he really have a choice? With Levi and Ivan on the team now he's not exactly Disco's bright hope for the Tour.
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Old 12-24-06, 02:30 PM   #3
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I'll root for him 100% since I'd love to see him win Roubaix - as long as he isn't throwing trophys out of bus windows in other races
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Old 12-24-06, 04:01 PM   #4
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He actually had great form for Flanders/Roubaix last year, but was skipping all the semi-classics and De Panne and Wevelgem and etc...

Glad to see he'll be a player again from late Feb to early Apr. The best time of year by far.
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Old 12-24-06, 04:20 PM   #5
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Good decision. I'm a big Hincapie and I'm sure he'll get a few more wins under his belt in the Classics. The tours, most likely not.
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Old 12-24-06, 04:34 PM   #6
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I agree that focusing on the Classics is the best way for him to go. If he were to focus on the Grand Tours, stage wins would be more viable than the GC, but also conflict with the goals of Ivan and/or Levi. I wish him luck for the spring.
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Old 12-24-06, 05:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Diablo Rojo
Does he really have a choice? With Levi and Ivan on the team now he's not exactly Disco's bright hope for the Tour.
Even before Levi and Basso he wasn't really expected to win the tour. We all hoped he could do it because he is the american favorite(while Levi and Floyd had a better chance, we root for the passing of the torch win) but very few people expected him to.
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Old 12-24-06, 05:39 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jrennie
Even before Levi and Basso he wasn't really expected to win the tour. We all hoped he could do it because he is the american favorite(while Levi and Floyd had a better chance, we root for the passing of the torch win) but very few people expected him to.
Of course not, that's why Disco had 'three' contenders for last years Tour. Now saying that he's going to concentrate on the Spring Classics is like a second rate NFL quarterback saying he's going to concentrate on being a back up when his team just traded for Tom Brady. My point is that he doesn't really have a choice does he? Aside from the ToC I can't imagine another stage race where they would let George have a go. Now even that is questionable as Levi may want that race to be his, especially since he's no longer the big man for the Tour.
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Old 12-24-06, 05:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrennie
Even before Levi and Basso he wasn't really expected to win the tour. We all hoped he could do it because he is the american favorite(while Levi and Floyd had a better chance, we root for the passing of the torch win) but very few people expected him to.
Yep, but now he's freed up to take stages in the Grand Tours.

and Roubaix
and G-W
and Paris-Nice
and...

I think we'll see big things from him this season. Coming off a disappointing tour, he's got something to prove.
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Old 12-24-06, 05:43 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Snuffleupagus
Yep, but now he's freed up to take stages in the Grand Tours.
Sorry but I'll have to respectfully disagree with you here. If Basso is allowed to start the Tour in '07 George will go right back to being super domestique, just like he did for LA. With a guy like Basso on the squad there is no reason for Disco to alter the plot from when they dominated with LA. I do believe that in the classics George will be a contender.
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Old 12-24-06, 05:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Diablo Rojo
Sorry but I'll have to respectfully disagree with you here. If Basso is allowed to start the Tour in '07 George will go right back to being super domestique, just like he did for LA. With a guy like Basso on the squad there is no reason for Disco to alter the plot from when they dominated with LA. I do believe that in the classics George will be a contender.
I meant freed up from the LA days, not freed up as in do whatever he wants
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Old 12-24-06, 06:25 PM   #12
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Nice attitudes here for the most part. Post this on cyclingforums and you'll just get a cataract of spite against Mr. Hincapie (that he is incredibly stupid) who, almost certainly, is one of the nicest and most genial persons in professional cycling. I also don't really believe that he lacks tactical skill (anyone remember his refusal to pace-set in Lance's final tour, letting Pereiro do all the work?); he's not the shrewdest rider out there; nor is he totally foolish.

Not this Roubaix, but the one previous when he hit the velodrome with Boonen and one other (Backstedt? can't recall) all the cyclingforums guys were skewering him for not attacking earlier. The thing they forgot to mention was that Boonen had raised the pace to the point where attacking was impossible.

No, I fear that Hincapie's limitations are less tactical than physical. As much as I like Hincapie, and as much as I celebrate this decision -- and hope he can pull off a major classic -- I don't believe he is either a superlative sprinter or time-trialist; he's merely good in each. Hence, I don't think he can either hope to out-sprint Boonen, or pull away from him early. I hope he can prove me wrong, though.
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Old 12-24-06, 06:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Diablo Rojo
Sorry but I'll have to respectfully disagree with you here. If Basso is allowed to start the Tour in '07 George will go right back to being super domestique, just like he did for LA. With a guy like Basso on the squad there is no reason for Disco to alter the plot from when they dominated with LA. I do believe that in the classics George will be a contender.
I think he means the flat to rolling stages, a la Jens Voight.
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Old 12-24-06, 06:42 PM   #14
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And big George has pride too. Flecha (the third guy in that break which entered the velodrome) supposedly offered him 150,000 euros to attack Boonen early in Hopes of setting Flecha up for a win.

George said no.
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Old 12-24-06, 07:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stallionforce
Nice attitudes here for the most part. Post this on cyclingforums and you'll just get a cataract of spite against Mr. Hincapie (that he is incredibly stupid) who, almost certainly, is one of the nicest and most genial persons in professional cycling. I also don't really believe that he lacks tactical skill (anyone remember his refusal to pace-set in Lance's final tour, letting Pereiro do all the work?); he's not the shrewdest rider out there; nor is he totally foolish.

Not this Roubaix, but the one previous when he hit the velodrome with Boonen and one other (Backstedt? can't recall) all the cyclingforums guys were skewering him for not attacking earlier. The thing they forgot to mention was that Boonen had raised the pace to the point where attacking was impossible.

No, I fear that Hincapie's limitations are less tactical than physical. As much as I like Hincapie, and as much as I celebrate this decision -- and hope he can pull off a major classic -- I don't believe he is either a superlative sprinter or time-trialist; he's merely good in each. Hence, I don't think he can either hope to out-sprint Boonen, or pull away from him early. I hope he can prove me wrong, though.
I think his Roubaix mistake was in not leading out the sprint, especially given his track experience. Everybody who's ever watched P-R knows the leader never gets passed out of that final corner. My guess is George simply didn't have enough left to lead out.

I think George will race a few lbs heavier this year and go back to being the first pace-setter in the mountains.
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Old 12-24-06, 07:41 PM   #16
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Hey I never said I didn't like George, he's one of my favorite riders. All I'm saying is anouncing that he's going to focus on the spring classics again, after his team brought in two riders with known stage ambitions and pedegrees is kinda obvious.

As for George being let loose ala Jens, have you ever seen a Disco rider really try to win a stage during the LA years (aside from the freak GH win in 05)? No if Disco goes to the Tour with an Ivan Basso in winning form you'll see the exact same tactics that won them 7 TdF's. Loyalty and an eye on the prize.
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Old 12-24-06, 07:53 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Dial_tone
I think his Roubaix mistake was in not leading out the sprint, especially given his track experience. Everybody who's ever watched P-R knows the leader never gets passed out of that final corner. My guess is George simply didn't have enough left to lead out.

I think George will race a few lbs heavier this year and go back to being the first pace-setter in the mountains.
remind me, because too many years have passed - didn't ballerini have the lead up until the final meters, only to lose to duclos-lasalle?
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Old 12-24-06, 09:40 PM   #18
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remind me, because too many years have passed - didn't ballerini have the lead up until the final meters, only to lose to duclos-lasalle?
Who was sporting a suspension fork?
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Old 12-28-06, 10:28 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Diablo Rojo
All I'm saying is anouncing that he's going to focus on the spring classics again, after his team brought in two riders with known stage ambitions and pedegrees is kinda obvious.
Good point. Come on spring racing - let's go!
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Old 12-28-06, 12:09 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Diablo Rojo
Aside from the ToC I can't imagine another stage race where they would let George have a go. Now even that is questionable as Levi may want that race to be his, especially since he's no longer the big man for the Tour.
How about the Eneco tour that George should have won this year?

All in all, I can't wait to see George in the classics this year. Hopefully his bad luck from '06 will turn around and he'll have a great '07.
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Old 12-28-06, 01:29 PM   #21
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There's always the Tour of Holland.
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