99.9 The Fan

Book tells Hincapie's story with cycling, Armstrong

Posted July 3, 2014

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

Please to add a comment.

Oldest First
View all
TV
  • PGA: AT&T Byron Nelson Championship

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NASL: RailHawks at Jacksonville

    Saturday at 7:30 pm on WRAL-2

  • PGA: AT&T Byron Nelson Championship

    Sunday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

Scoreboard
Local
Final
ROC 4
DUR 5
 
7:05pm Tonight
ROC
DUR
 
Final
KAN 1
NYY 14
Final
COL 5
CIN 4
Final
PHI 3
NYM 6
Final
HOU 3
BAL 4
Final
BOS 2
MIN 7
Final
SFG 8
MIL 4
Final
WAS 2
CHC 1
Final
DET 0
OAK 4
Final
TEX 10
CLE 8
Final
ARI 2
STL 3
Final
MIA 2
PIT 4
Final
CWS 0
TOR 6
Final
SEA 4
TAM 1
Final
ATL 3
LOS 6
Final
SDP 3
ANA 4
7:05pm Tonight
HOU
BAL
 
7:05pm Tonight
KAN
NYY
 
7:05pm Tonight
MIA
PIT
 
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
CHC
 
7:07pm Tonight
CWS
TOR
 
7:10pm Tonight
COL
CIN
 
7:10pm Tonight
PHI
NYM
 
7:10pm Tonight
SEA
TAM
 
7:10pm Tonight
TEX
CLE
 
8:10pm Tonight
BOS
MIN
 
8:10pm Tonight
SFG
MIL
 
8:15pm Tonight
ARI
STL
 
10:05pm Tonight
DET
OAK
 
10:05pm Tonight
SDP
ANA
 
10:10pm Tonight
ATL
LOS
 
Final
GSW 115
HOU 128
8:30pm Tonight
ATL
CLE
 
Final
CHI 4
ANA 5
8:00pm Tonight
NYR
TAM
 
Final
ROC 4
DUR 5
 
7:05pm Tonight
ROC
DUR