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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone here wonder what the people who are touting George Hincapie as a Tour contender for the podium have been drinking? One stage victory in the mountains does not a Tour contender make. I would love to hear others comments on this wishful thinking coming out of various reports and discussions. Most recently one of the letters to cyclingnews addressed this crazy idea directly.
 

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E Plurbus Elvis
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mikeman said:
Does anyone here wonder what the people who are touting George Hincapie as a Tour contender for the podium have been drinking? One stage victory in the mountains does not a Tour contender make. I would love to hear others comments on this wishful thinking coming out of various reports and discussions. Most recently one of the letters to cyclingnews addressed this crazy idea directly.
The same has been applied to just about every U.S. cyclist to ever enter the TdF. It's called wishful thinking -- it's fun and harmless. And I must admit, I really believed Jonathan Boyer could win it back in the early 80s.
 

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For president!
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It's been discussed numerous times here. The contention is that he came in 14th last year, and has improved his performance every year, so why not top 10 next year?

I don't think anyone sensible thinks he will podium. Basso, Ullrich, Vino, Mancebo, Leipheimer, and others will all beat him. I think it would be a good performance for him to get 8th or so, but ultimately it won't be very noteworthy.

I would much prefer to see him win a big classic.

Silas
 

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mikeman said:
Does anyone here wonder what the people who are touting George Hincapie as a Tour contender for the podium have been drinking? One stage victory in the mountains does not a Tour contender make. I would love to hear others comments on this wishful thinking coming out of various reports and discussions. Most recently one of the letters to cyclingnews addressed this crazy idea directly.
Im sure we will never hear from you again if he does good.
 

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NeoRetroGrouch
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mikeman said:
Does anyone here wonder what the people who are touting George Hincapie as a Tour contender for the podium have been drinking? One stage victory in the mountains does not a Tour contender make. I would love to hear others comments on this wishful thinking coming out of various reports and discussions. Most recently one of the letters to cyclingnews addressed this crazy idea directly.
Same type of wishfull think some had in '99? - TF
 

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I don't think too many people think he can make the podium but a fair number of people think he can crack the top 10, former and current pro's included, and yes, some that don't and haven't ridden for Discovery.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Vel07 said:
Im sure we will never hear from you again if he does good.
Just because I speak the truth, you think it makes some kind of character statement about who I am. Get lost buddy. I would be the first to warm up the microwave and eat a little humble pie. I've done it before in the past. Are you going to give me credit when he shows that he is truly a domestique and finds himself in anonimity again next year. Maybe Kevin Livingston will come back from top 20 place in 1997 and win in 2006 for you. Or maybe not. I like George, don't get me wrong, but George has not even been won a classic yet and that is supposed to be specialty. Classic guys win classics ... Bartoli, Musseuw, Bettini, Kelly, Tafi, Van Petegem to name a few. George has not yet won his first classic. Maybe if we did not have so many Anglo homers doing the commentary, we would not put so much value in their punditry. They keep feeding the dream. For example, Tom Danielson, another of the potential Tour contenders has been a project for 2 years and is getting kind of old to keep talking about learning and needs to learn from winning something and not just the Tour of Georgia. While he is a very fine rider, winning in Europe is a whole different kettle of fish.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Vel07 said:
Character! You could be mother theresa I dont care. what does that have to do with what i said.
Try reading my response again, or is English your second language. I said that I would be the first to warm up the wave and eat my humble pie. You drew the line and I responded. Need I say more. It seems to me that my respones has everything to do with what you originally said in your post. I will say it again, if George somehow actually performs and is in the hunt for the the yellow jersey, I will be the first to say I was wrong. You however, do not get a pass if he does a Tom Danielson Vuelta impersonation. That won't be good enough. There are you satisfied.
 

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If he's a protectED, rather than a protectING rider, showing what he's shown over the past years, I'm pretty certain he could pull a Mancebo...

That is, by never attacking, not being dropped except on the steepest of climbs, riding sensibly, he could simply power his way into the top-10 with the very solid TT performances we all know he's capable of turning out.

For all of the time and personal sacrifice Big George made for Armstrong, I think he deserves one year to see what he can do, since "Tour de France top 10 finisher and stage winner" is a great palmares boost.
 

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Argentius said:
If he's a protectED, rather than a protectING rider, showing what he's shown over the past years, I'm pretty certain he could pull a Mancebo...

That is, by never attacking, not being dropped except on the steepest of climbs, riding sensibly, he could simply power his way into the top-10 with the very solid TT performances we all know he's capable of turning out.

For all of the time and personal sacrifice Big George made for Armstrong, I think he deserves one year to see what he can do, since "Tour de France top 10 finisher and stage winner" is a great palmares boost.
That's a fair assessment, Mikeman's weirdly virulent rant notwithstanding. Look at it this way: We know GH can be top 10 in a TT, given that only GC contenders and TT specialists go full gas. His stage win last year shows that he can at least hang within a minute or two of the top GC climbers (notice I didn't say top climbers, like Rujano). Unfortunately, I believe there's no TTT this year, but he should still make top 10 by midway through the mtn stages. After that, who knows? His strength should allow him to gain a few minutes in the last long TT.
 

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I dont think he can win. What i do think though is that he would be a great team leader, he has the experience to know how to ride in the tour, he could place top three if the tour was simply about tactics. He knows France like the back of his hand, he knows how to attack, where to attack and simply where to cruise, he knows what condition he needs to be in to ride the tour and he knows how to prepare for it, he's experienced and consistent, at a time like this for Disco, there's a good chance they may well go for someone like Hincapie just because they know they can rely on him, even if they know he wont win. I too agree that he would be better put to use to win a couple of classics, but remember, 'The Tour' for the last 7 years has been owned by Disco, no one can deny that, why shouldnt they use someone American to keep their sponsors happy, make Hincapie win some stages, place top 10. They do this, their sponsors are happy and they get more money to buy some new riders. If i was Johan, i would have been looking to get Vino to move over when he was on the market, he's not American, but he can 'The Tour' for an American team, that's simply what their after in the end, a Tour win for something or someone American. Vino can win the tour in my eyes, he needs to be told how to ride efficiently, not as many attacks, he is a great attacking rider, but why not change his thoughts, teach him to ride more conservatively behind a good team like Disco and badda bingo, badda boom, Disco wins 'The Tour', 8 years running. I think i got a lil sidetracked but honestly, i think unless someone from Disco like Eki or Poppy show themselves and stand up and say, i wont to lead the tour, i want to train to win the tour, Disco will be riding for Hincapie.
 

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I think Tailwind Sports is behind all of this. If they can play up Hincapie as a Tour contender, they can continue to offer him no support in the Classics, which the sponsors care nothing about, and he still won't leave to a team that will back him up in the races he can win.

--Shannon
 

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Discussion Starter #17
peter1 said:
That's a fair assessment, Mikeman's weirdly virulent rant notwithstanding. Look at it this way: We know GH can be top 10 in a TT, given that only GC contenders and TT specialists go full gas. His stage win last year shows that he can at least hang within a minute or two of the top GC climbers (notice I didn't say top climbers, like Rujano). Unfortunately, I believe there's no TTT this year, but he should still make top 10 by midway through the mtn stages. After that, who knows? His strength should allow him to gain a few minutes in the last long TT.

Weirdly virulent? How is does George get this kind of respect for being good, when Jean Cyril Robin rode for Postal and got no resopect when he was top 10 for the same "team", which as a team at the time really sucked and did him no favors as a team leader. You people who don't get what I am saying are a bunch of homers. George is nothing if not a highly respectable classics rider, but one who cannot punch the ticket, who continues to get respect out of proportion with what he would if he was a foreign rider on the same team or a foreign rider of similar comparability on a different team. Think about it. I am merely someone who recognizes that similar talents to GH, when they are non-American are dismissed in the Anglo-press and in the forums, by homers like those who continue to elevate the Georges and Tom Danielsons out of proportion to their true talents. Look in the mirror folks, you know who you are. Quit flying the flag and just appreciate real talent wherever it may be, not just Americans touted for their marketing ability.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Argentius said:
dude, everyone cheers for the hometown hero.

Think kazakhs like Jan or Vino?
There is a distinct difference between cheering and inability to suspend your fantasy. Fine to cheer for your heroes, but to think he has a chance is pure fantasy. As I said JC Robin was a top 10 without a team working as hard as Disco could for whomever emerges as the leader.
 

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tube_ee said:
I think Tailwind Sports is behind all of this. If they can play up Hincapie as a Tour contender, they can continue to offer him no support in the Classics, which the sponsors care nothing about, and he still won't leave to a team that will back him up in the races he can win.
I think this pretty much sums the situation up.

If Hincapie is in a position to lead the team, he should demand the right to build his season around April instead of July. He should also demand that his support riders also peak at the same time. He won't have the guts to do it, though.

Use Savoldelli for the Giro and the Tour. Let Popovych lead for the Vuelta. Let Danielson try his hand at some of the smaller stage races.
 
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