By Chris Carmichael
Just a few hours after finishing Paris-Roubaix, George and I met for dinner. We talked about the day, about the season, and about the future. All in all, George is happy. He knows he can win Paris-Roubaix, and that the best years are still to come.
Everything was going great up until the Arenberg Forest. George made a good move and said he was having no real problems finding a good line. He was leaving people behind and making it look easy. When the front tire punctured, controlling the bike was almost impossible. Johan Bruyneel told him on the radio that there were wheels waiting at the end of the cobblestones, but that was 800 meters away. On the cobblestones, mechanical help can take anywhere from seconds to minutes to appear, so George continued trying to ride toward the waiting wheels instead of waiting for a motor. As he struggled to move forward, he was caught and passed by the group he had left behind just a little while earlier. A motor showed up with a wheel and the chase was on. The effort to get back to the lead group after the Arenberg Forest was taxing, but George said he had great legs all day and he recovered quickly.
Editor’s Note: The remainder of this article, which looks at Hincapie’s and other riders’ performances on Sunday, is posted on Chris Carmichael’s coaching web site, TrainRight.com