The majority of today’s stage 11 in the Tour de France was what you would expect: a long breakaway with little to no hope of victory getting swallowed up in the closing miles followed by leadout trains jockeying for the win. The action finally came to a boil with ten kilometers to go as the sprinters primed their trains.
For BMC their goals are not to contest sprinter stages as today’s but instead protect Australian Cadel Evans or possibly snipe a stage win with Greenville resident and reining American national road race champion George Hincapie.
Over the years Hincapie has morphed from a field sprinter into a rider called by the French a “rouleur” – translated meaning “to roll”. In cycling parlance it is someone who can go on the attack and roll along at a steady effort. This person is a valuable asset to have on any cycling squad.
Today’s parcours was designed for the sprinter – which meant a “day off” for Big George.
“”It was a pretty boring day. The finish was fast and dicey,” said Hincapie.
Dicey is one way to describe it with the head butting and pushing that occurred in the last kilometer of the stage. The end result was the expected win from HTC-Columbia’s Mark Cavendish and the disqualification of his lead out man Mark Renshaw.
When asked if he has his eye on a stage win Hincapie was positive about the possibility.
“Yeah, I would love to. Just got to find a good day. I feel pretty good.”
Tomorrow’s stage 12, with several category 3 and 2 climbs, might be the opportunity for Big George to infiltrate a break and snag another long awaited Tour de France victory.
In a post-stage Tweet Hincapie wrote, “The last two days have been very un Tour like.Think the heat is really getting to everyone. Expecting fireworks tomorrow.”
Bonne chance George!
George Hincapie 25th on the stage