Cycling Newsflash – Greenville, SC
George Hincapie just won the National Pro Championship Road Race. After 110 miles it came down to a drag race between George and Andy Bajadali. Jeff Louder of BMC was a very close third.
The race featured 4 laps that left town and went up Paris Mountain and returned to town. Upon completing those 4 laps, the racers did 4 laps through the streets of Greenville. A news helicopter followed the entire race and it was broadcast live on a jumbo screen at the 100 meter line.
Ron & I rode up Paris Mountain to watch the first 2 laps. A Garmin Slipstream rider ( I believe was Dave Z) was off the front by 2 minutes. He had a larger lead on the second lap. We rode down the mountain and drove to town. The lone rider was pulled back by a chase group as they came into town for the start of the 4th mountain lap. Descending from that lap, George Hincape jumped and went clear with 5 other riders. Two more chased and caught. Those 8 riders dominated the 4 in-town laps. On the last in-town lap, Jeff Louder went clear by 10 seconds, but, with 1K to go, George and Andy pulled him back. From 200 meters to go, it was a drag race to the finish.
The crowd was huge, both on the mountain and in town. Greenville is George Hincapie’s home town and definitely their favorite to win.
On the podium, George let everyone know that at breakfast that morning with the guys they discussed cramping. He said he could not remember the last time he cramped, but as luck would have it, he cramped with 200 meters to go. And he still won. But, it was really close.
It was announced at the end of the podium awards that Greenville would again host the 2010 National Pro Championships. It is a beautiful city, with lots of bicycle riding. Why don’t you all plan a trip here next September to watch the best professional riders in this country race for their National Championship in the Time Trial & Road Race? It’s a trip you won’t regret making.
Ron & Cheryl Adams. Dateline – Greenville, SC