Discovery takes clean sweep on last stage

George Hincapie finished the Dauphiné Libéré on Sunday in the same way as he started: winning. And w

George Hincapie finished the Dauphiné Libéré on Sunday in the same way as he started: winning. And w
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM George Hincapie, Yaroslav Popovych, Lance Armstrong. The Discovery Channel squad made no secret of which was the strongest team in the last stage of the Dauphin Libr as they took the first three placings on the hilly 128-kilometre final stage between Morzine and Salanches. And for George Hincapie, the race ended on the same high note as it began, having won the prologue a week ago, writes Susanne Horsdal. "In the Tour I'm working for Lance and I don't really think of my own chances, but I wanted to take advantage of my good form and I'm very happy to win two stages here," said the American. The lead up to the stage win came as Yaroslav Popovych suggested that he and Hincapie counter attack on an early breakaway that was about to be reeled in on the fourth category climb of the Cote de Sigismond, 33 kilometres into the stage. "We got ten seconds directly and on the descent we went as hard as we could. I think I'm a pretty good descender, but Popovych really surprised me. He was a bit crazy," Hincapie said. In the remaining 95 kilometres, the two team-mates managed to fend off a chasing group including most of the top ten on the general classification with names such as Armstrong, Alexandre Vinokourov, Santiago Botero and Levi Leipheimer in it, and at the finish line held an advantage of 22 seconds. Armstrong then took the third spot when winning the sprint in the second group to complete the Discovery domination. Asked whether he had been thinking about the fact that Armstrong in the Dauphin was racing his second last race of his career, Hincapie admitted that he'd actually been giving it some thought. "I think about it occasionally and I think I'm going to do that even more during the Tour. We're all going to miss him, especially me, because he's such a good friend of mine. It's just not going to be the same next year," admitted Hincapie, who's the only rider who's been with Armstrong for all of his six Tour wins. The next job will be to help the Texan secure his seventh and last big price in 'La Grande Boucle', and Hincapie's impression of his team captain is that of a guy right on track. "He's had a couple of good tests here, and I think he's very pleased with his condition right now," said Hincapie. But the Dauphin also marked a new beginning for Hincapie as it was the first time he had raced together with Popovych, the Discovery Channel's young Ukranian who is being tipped to take over from Armstrong in future Tours, and the impression he made on Hincapie was very positive. "He seems very well-rounded. I was quite impressed with the way he rides in the peloton. He's got no problems with positioning, he's a good descender and a good climber and here I got to see it up close," Hincapie said.
This article was published by BikeRadar, the world's leading source of bike reviews, gear reviews, riding advice and route information
  • Discipline: Road, Mountain, Urban, Womens
  • Location: UK, USA, Australia
Back to top