99.9 The Fan

Book tells Hincapie's story with cycling, Armstrong

Posted July 3

The biggest event in cycling, the Tour de France, begins on Saturday, a day former professional cyclist George Hincapie is very familiar with.

Hincapie, the author of The Loyal Lieutenant: Leading Out Lance and Pushing Through the Pain on the Rocky Road to Paris, joined Adam and Joe on 99.9 The Fan to talk about Lance Armstrong and how cycling has changed since he retired from the sport.

Though he doesn’t miss competing, Hincapie says he still loves riding.

“Nineteen years as a pro and 17 Tour de France’s was more than enough,” Hincapie said. “I still love riding my bike, but I don’t miss having to measure my performance day in and day out and having to deal with crashes and all that goes into the sport of cycling.”

Hincapie wrote in the prologue of his book “On some level, to be a professional cyclist is to embrace a life of loneliness.” How does one do that?

“Cycling is all about long distance training,” he said. “Many times, you have to do that (training) on your own, and you end up riding by yourself many days of the years for many hours at a time. It is certainly a lonely, lonely time.”

Hincapie provided federal testimony that helped to prove Armstrong used performance enhancing drugs during his seven-year reign as Tour de France champion.

Since that time, the two have become friends again, with Armstrong writing the forward to Hincapie’s book.

“We didn’t talk while the investigation was going on,” he said. “I told the story of what the sport was like back then, but the book is about a lot more than just that era.”

“The book for me is about how much the sport has changed and where it is today,” said Hincapie.

At the time of Armstrong’s dominance, cyclists were, in a way, forced to use P.E.D.’s in order to be competitive at the highest level. However, this was not something that was used in explanations as to why so many riders did so.

“I think, as you saw, once everything came out about Lance, every week, another rider from that time would come out and say, ‘hey, I did the same thing’ and that did not get nearly the same amount of attention,” he said. “The whole story was never told, it was really about one team and one rider.”

Since that time, there have been many changes in the sport to prevent P.E.D.’s from dominating the sport again.

“I got to witness it first hand, whether it was working with riders like Cadel Evans or Mark Cavendish, riding for teams like HTC that were new teams that were popping up were very vocal in change in the sport,” said Hincapie.

“They were very anti-doping centric. They were very transparent, and they did their own, independent testing. They spent a ton of money on testing their riders individually and posting results so people would know. They helped the culture to change,” he said.

Hincapie knows Armstrong did wrong during his cycling days, but says he is a good person.

“No matter what you know, or think you know about Lance, he did have cancer, he had a fifty percent chance of living or dying and he beat that. I think he did a lot of good for people with cancer, and I know he is still passionate about the cause and I hope that maybe one day he can begin working with that again,” said Hincapie.

Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
TV
  • World Series: Kansas City vs. San Francisco

    Tomorrow at 7:30 pm on FOX50

Scoreboard
Local
Final
GBP 38
CAR 17
Final
CHI 101
CHA 96
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
CHA
 
Final
BRK 90
BOS 95
Final
OKC 94
MIN 112
Final
CHI 101
CHA 96
Final
HOU 90
GSW 83
Final
LAL 98
UTA 91
7:00pm Tonight
CLE
CHI
 
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
NOP
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
CHA
 
7:30pm Tonight
NYK
MIL
 
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
PHI
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
MEM
 
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
SAC
 
Final
LOS 2
MIN 1
Final
NYR 4
SJS 0
Final
WIN 1
CAL 4
Final
ANA 3
STL 0
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
TAM
 
Final
BAL 29
ATL 7
Final
GBP 38
CAR 17
Final
IND 27
CIN 0
Final
JAC 24
CLE 6
Final
CHI 14
MIA 27
Final
BUF 17
MIN 16
Final
DET 24
NOS 23
Final
STL 28
SEA 26
Final
WAS 19
TEN 17
Final
SDC 20
KAN 23
Final
OAK 13
ARI 24
Final
DAL 31
NYG 21
Final
DEN 42
SFX 17
8:30pm Tonight
PIT
HOU