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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not a huge Hincapie fan but I think George could be one of this year's dark horses for a TdF podium place. This year's route favours his style of riding and I think if he is Discovery's designated leader in July he could raise his game quite considerably. And make no mistake, the antiChrist (Lance) will be assisting with his preparation. George will be good in July.
 

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gizzard said:
And make no mistake, the antiChrist (Lance) will be assisting with his preparation. George will be good in July.
The kind of preparation that wins you a Grand Tour won't involve Lance, although it may involve people he knows. OTOH, if Georgie Boy's name shows up in the Spanish doping investigation then he won't be in France come July.
 

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i cant see hincapie wining a grand tour, let alone "le tour", he just does not have the intelligence to do so, just watch the spring classics, hes always missing the boat. thats not acceptable for such a experienced racer.
 

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carlos said:
i cant see hincapie wining a grand tour, let alone "le tour", he just does not have the intelligence to do so, just watch the spring classics, hes always missing the boat. thats not acceptable for such a experienced racer.
Winning a GT almost involves no brains at all. There is almost never the need to read the race the way you often have to to win a single-day race.

How hard is it? Ride hard in the TT and up the mountain top finishes, otherwise follow the wheels. How often does someone end up on the podium in a GT due to a tactical coup?
 

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Dwayne Barry said:
How often does someone end up on the podium in a GT due to a tactical coup?
Savoldelli's 2002 Giro victory was due in a large part to his tactical astuteness. There is Chiappucci's 2nd in '90. But aside from those rare occasions, you don't have to be the sharpest tool in the toolbox.
 

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Dwayne Barry said:
Winning a GT almost involves no brains at all. There is almost never the need to read the race the way you often have to to win a single-day race.

How hard is it? Ride hard in the TT and up the mountain top finishes, otherwise follow the wheels. How often does someone end up on the podium in a GT due to a tactical coup?
what?
 

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Dwayne Barry said:
Winning a GT almost involves no brains at all. There is almost never the need to read the race the way you often have to to win a single-day race.

How hard is it? Ride hard in the TT and up the mountain top finishes, otherwise follow the wheels. How often does someone end up on the podium in a GT due to a tactical coup?
If it really were that easy, everyone would be doing it.
 

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mohair_chair said:
If it really were that easy, everyone would be doing it.
Not when riding "hard in the TTs and mountains" still isn't good enough. Just because you are riding hard doesn't mean you are going to win. I agree with the original poster's meaning. "If you have the ability to win or place near the top in TTs and mountains", then the tactical stuff is very secondary.
 

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mohair_chair said:
If it really were that easy, everyone would be doing it.
Nonsense, that assumes everyone in the race has equal ability which they don't. Winning a grand tour is mostly about having a high sustainable power relative to one's weight and the drag created in a TT position. There are typically very few decisions to be made concerning when to go hard.

OTOH, in most single day races, it is much more about burning the limited number of matches you have at critical times to make the selections or create them yourself.
 

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Decisions are cognitive, plus you have the DS in the car helping make most of the decisions. It is one think to make a decision, its another to execute it after 150kms in the mountains when your body may not respond.

Haven't you guys ever been really tired on the bike, just wanting to get home so you can stuff your face with real food. Try calculating times and doing some math then when it hurts just to think. Not so fun is it?

I'm rooting for big George.
 

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Sorry George

Too much has been made about Hincapie's win last year. Yes he has become a competent climber and yes he has the experience. However, he has never been a marked man in a grand tour let alone any stage race. He along with the rest of the break away was let go last year and he was not climbing against the top climbers of the race. George has become a good overall rider but it is a different situation when other teams view you as a threat and start marking your moves. I just don't see him climbing with Vino, Baso, Landis, or even Levi. That being said, there could be a real shake up depending upon the fallout of the Spanish investigation, who knows who is a part of the 200 riders.
 

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George Hincapie cannot win the Tour. His talent is prodigious, but it's not the talent of a GT contender. To pretend otherwise does a great disservice to the finest American roadman since Davis Phinney. Celebrate him for what he is, don't ding him for not being what he isn't. He is a great roadman. He is not a Tour winner.

George needs to be riding nasty, rain-soaked classics, and riding them to win. It is only because Americans (not us, the ones that send letters or watch the Discovery Channel) have never heard of any other cycling event, don't know about them, and wouldn't care if they did know, that he is not. George has never had the team support he needed in March and April, because his bosses were focused on July.

He's more like Sean Kelly, although without Kelly's telepathic ability to read a race. He's a roadman who can climb well, and he's better than average against the watch. He could be dominant in the shorter stage races, if his sponsor cared about them. That's not a slam on JB, he knows what side of the bread holds the butter.

In terms of his results, staying with Tailwind for all these years has been a disaster for George. He's been quite well paid, and his job is pretty low-stress (for a pro athlete), and he may be happy with that, and more power to him if that's so, but no one can seriously claim that he wouldn't have had more victories on a team that was focused on supporting him in the races that suit him.

The Tour isn't one of those races.

--Shannon
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I never said he'd win the TdF

The original message I posted was about George getting onto the podium and not about winning. And here's why: I assume that he will have excellent form for this year's Tour and that he is the designated Disco team leader (I may be wrong but that is the premise upon which this assertion is based). I know that Popo also has a chance of leading the team but I think George will get the top spot due to his relatively modest workload so far this year. He is lighter then ever before and he has developed an amazing suppleness over the past season or two that will stand him in good stead in the mountains. In fact he reminds me a bit of Big Mig who had all the power combined with unusual suppleness (for a big rider) that helped him when going uphill. George will also not lose much in the time trials which is another important factor.
Finally – and this is the biggest reason why he will do well – George will be able to race for himself knowing what is expected of him i.e. to finish with the leaders in the mountains. That's never happened before in a Grand Tour. I repeat, I am not a big George fan, but I really believe he will be a dark horse come July.
 

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gizzard said:
The original message I posted was about George getting onto the podium and not about winning. And here's why: I assume that he will have excellent form for this year's Tour and that he is the designated Disco team leader (I may be wrong but that is the premise upon which this assertion is based). I know that Popo also has a chance of leading the team but I think George will get the top spot due to his relatively modest workload so far this year. He is lighter then ever before and he has developed an amazing suppleness over the past season or two that will stand him in good stead in the mountains. In fact he reminds me a bit of Big Mig who had all the power combined with unusual suppleness (for a big rider) that helped him when going uphill. George will also not lose much in the time trials which is another important factor.
Finally – and this is the biggest reason why he will do well – George will be able to race for himself knowing what is expected of him i.e. to finish with the leaders in the mountains. That's never happened before in a Grand Tour. I repeat, I am not a big George fan, but I really believe he will be a dark horse come July.
Comparing George to Indurain is like comparing Clay Aiken to Bob Dylan. George isn't even in the same building as Indurain. It's a matter of power to weight ratios and frankly George doesn't develop enough watts per kilogram to be competitive on the high Cols. He'll lose minute after minute. Listen, if George ever tested in the top tier he'd have gone to a different team. He's not great at time trials either. You have to be superlative at one of those disciplines just to have a chance. With luck he might be able to sneak into the top 10 but that would be his limit.
 

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The thing George can do for Discovery is get them stage wins in stages where the climbing eliminates the pure sprinters and yet isn't enough to make a real selection of pure climbers. If the Tour shakes out like the Giro has this year for Discovery, they'll be better off going for stage wins with George in the latter stages of the race.

I don't see him climbing with Basso, Ulrich, or even Landis right now, and I don't see him putting time into any of those guys in a TT. I think Disco will go with co-leaders Popo and George to start, but Popo will give them a better chance at the podium, particularly if he improves his TT (which is his real weak point right now).

The real dark horse in the Tour this year is Valverde.
 

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cyclodawg said:
The thing George can do for Discovery is get them stage wins in stages where the climbing eliminates the pure sprinters and yet isn't enough to make a real selection of pure climbers. If the Tour shakes out like the Giro has this year for Discovery, they'll be better off going for stage wins with George in the latter stages of the race.

I don't see him climbing with Basso, Ulrich, or even Landis right now, and I don't see him putting time into any of those guys in a TT. I think Disco will go with co-leaders Popo and George to start, but Popo will give them a better chance at the podium, particularly if he improves his TT (which is his real weak point right now).

The real dark horse in the Tour this year is Valverde.
Speaking of Indurain, he was saying recently that Valverde isn't ready yet. Way too weak in the TT. But he's a young 'un, plenty of time. Basso learned to TT didn't he?

It'll be interesting to see how Disco plays their cards at the tour. One scenario I could see Hincapie get a relatively high GC placing is if he managed to tack onto a significant breakaway and gained big time there, but I'm sure the other teams pretty much know how much time George could have before he actually did become dangerous. He'll be marked. Popo is a big question mark, he strikes me as top 6 or 7 material right now if he has great form. Savoldelli now, if he bounces back with any form might be a good bet for podium. It's TT centric and not as many mountain top finishes. That guy can gain minutes on a descent.

You're probably right tho, Stage wins and Popo for the GC placing.
 
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