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By Press release
BERKELEY, Calif., August 5, 2004 – Clif Bar Inc. announced today that George Hincapie has won fan balloting for the third annual Beyond The Podium Award, earning a $10,000 first prize from the company. Riding in his 10th career Tour de France, Hincapie came through with his most impressive effort to date, finishing 33rd overall, but more importantly playing a key domestique role in helping his U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team leader win an unprecedented sixth straight yellow jersey at this year’s Tour de France.
The Clif Bar Inc. award honors domestiques – the unsung heroes of cycling – by asking cycling fans to vote for the U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team (USPS) domestique they believe contributed the most to the team’s performance in the Tour de France.
This year’s USPS team was the strongest in history, with a powerful showing and great effort put in by each cyclist. In the end it was Hincapie who impressed fans the most, receiving 49 percent of the votes cast by thousands of cycling enthusiasts nationwide on the Clif Bar Inc. website (www.clifbar.com) during a three-week period coinciding with this year’s Tour de France.
Hincapie gave a solid, thorough and committed performance from start to finish. Always the versatile teammate, Hincapie, known for his one-day classic skills, helped his team leader cross the treacherous cobblestones of northern France during Stage 3. Then, later in the race, Hincapie could be found setting the tempo up rigorous climbs in the Pyrénées and the Alps. Perhaps the favorite moment for Hincapie fans was watching his signature finish in the team time trial – with one hand off the bike, celebrating the team’s winning performance.
“We created the Beyond The Podium award to celebrate these amazing domestiques who truly embody the spirit of working as a team, but rarely get the accolades they deserve,” said Gary Erickson, Clif Bar Inc. owner and founder. “George proved he deserves this award with a self-sacrificing performance that was instrumental in securing the team leader’s historic sixth consecutive yellow jersey.”
Floyd Landis placed second in Beyond The Podium fan balloting with 30 percent of the vote, and Jose Azevedo came in third with 12 percent of the votes cast. Landis had his best Tour to date, jumping to a 23rd place finish this year by virtue of fantastic riding in the mountains and stellar work in the time trials. Like Landis, Azevedo did everything asked of him during the race, including burying himself on the climbs – particularly in the Pyrénées stages – in an effort that effectively turned the Tour into a two-rider race for his team leader.
Based in Berkeley, California, Clif Bar Inc. is the official energy bar and gel sponsor of the U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team. A leading maker of all-natural energy and nutrition foods, Clif Bar Inc.’s products include the Clif Bar, the energy bar providing nutrition for sustained energy; Clif Shot, The Natural Energy Gel* for endurance activities; Luna, The Whole Nutrition Bar for Women*; and Mojo Bar, the first natural snack bar with popular salty snack flavors.