02 February 2011

Trivia Contest: In Honor of BIG GEORGE

George Hincapie exits the US Postal Service Team Van at the 2000 Amstel Gold Race smiling and ready to ride.

This month's Trivia Contest is in honor of George Hincapie, one of America's favorite professional cyclists who's maintained incredible staying power over the last decade. With his enduring cycling prowess and charisma, he's considered a fixture in both major stateside stage races such as the Tour of California, the European Classics (notably to Paris-Roubaix), and the exalted Tour de France.

Many of you recognized his legs last month on our Facebook contest (congratulations to Don W. for correctly identifying those gams and winning a $25 BicyclingHub.com gift certificate!). When he turned Pro in 1994, George Hincapie (who was primarily a sprinter at that point) committed in his mind to ten years as a professional. With that goal long since surpassed, he is embarking on his SEVENTEENTH Professional season and possibly his 16th (and record-tying for most starts) Tour de France.

How well do you know "Big George"?

Q1. How many Olympic Games has George participated in?

Photo, left: George Hincapie and Dave Towel discuss the stage ahead on May 23rd, 2010 in Thousand Oaks, California Tour of California Stage 8.

Q2. Hincapie has won in all of the following major stage races EXCEPT WHICH ONE?
A. The Tour de France
B. The Dauphine Libere
C. The Tour of California
D. Three Days of De Panne
E. Eneco Tour of Benelux
F. Tour of Missouri
G. Setmana Catalana

Photo, right: George Hincapie, Roy Knickman and Andreas Knickman in conversation. Roy Knickman is partially hidden from the camera.

Q3. How many times has George Hincapie been the US Professional Road Champion?

Was I Correct? Answers below.

A1. Incredibly, Hincapie has participated in FIVE STRAIGHT Olympic Games, dating back to the Team Time Trial in Barcelona where the US squad was a disappointing 16th. Since then, he has represented the US in the Olympic Road Race. Not planning to retire until 2012 and still one of the top US one day road riders, he could conceivably make one more! His five, incidentally, set a National Record for ALL SPORTS.

A2. Wow, what a line up! De Panne (a Belgian-cobbled classic prep stage race) is the only one, remarkably, where George didn’t take a stage. He did, however, win the overall there in 2004!!!

Photo, right: Ever the professionals, Christian Vande Velde (left) and George Hincapie (center), during their US Postal Service years, pausing to sign autographs.

A3. THREE, which many believe should have been four! In 1997, he won US Pro Corestates in Philadelphia, climbed the podium and donned the jersey only to be disqualified 45 min later for drafting in the caravan to chase back after a late puncture. He then won the title outright and joyously in 1998 with the help of a resurgent Lance Armstrong. Since then, he has triumphed again, this time in his hometown of Greenville, SC in 2006 and 2009.

Photo, left: When you're cool you're cool. George before the start of the 2010 Tour of California.

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