By Andrew Hood
While he would have loved to have raced in New York close to family andfriends last Sunday, U.S. Postal’s George Hincapie opted to stayin Europe and take on Germany’s World Cup race, the HEW Cyclassics in Hamburg.
The choice appears to have paid off nicely. Hincapie made the rightmove, joined the winning break on Sunday and rose to third in the overallUCI World Cup standings after finishing fifth behind winner Johan Museeuw.
“I really wanted to race in New York. It would have been great to seeall of my friends and family and the people I grew up racing with. Beforethe Tour started, Johan (Bruyneel) and I decided that if I was still goodat the end of the Tour, I would stay and try and do a good World Cup,”Hincapie told VeloNews. “At the end of the Tour I was pretty tired,but he told me that I was way better than I had been in the past, so Istayed.”
Hincapie said he rested well in the week following the Tour, where hehelped Lance Armstrong win a fourth consecutive maillot jauneas the only Postal rider to be on all four of Armstrong’s Tour wins.
“I tried to just rest this week, no celebrations with the exceptionof Sunday night in Paris. I was not able to train much during the week,so I did not know how my body was going to respond,” Hincapie said. “Johan(Museeuw) was super strong in the sprint. I was super good on the climband I think that is starting to take away from my sprint a bit.”
Hincapie said he will race at the Clasica San Sebastian on Saturdayand the Zürich World Cup stop Aug. 18 – if there is a race. Teams are threateninga boycott of the Swiss race if prize money from last year isn’t paid upby the event’s new organizers.
Now third overall in the World Cup standings, Hincapie left the dooropen for a run at the title if things go his way over the next few weeks.
“Lance will be back as well (to Clasica), so we should have a strongteam,” Hincapie said. “The World Cup is always interesting. I will tryand race the next two as hard as I can, then see where a stand.”
Hincapie is also scheduled to race at the Tour of Holland before makinghis big American homecoming to the GP San Francisco as defending champion.
No MTB world’s for Evans
It’s no surprise that Cadel Evans won’t be racing at the mountainbike world championships in Kaprun, Austria, later this month. The two-time mountainbike World Cup champion is completely dedicated to the road scene and won’tbe getting off-road anytime soon.
Evans, along with Olympic mountain bike gold medalist Miguel Martinezand others, decided last year to give road racing a full-time focus afterdabbling while riding on the Saeco team for the past few seasons. He penneda deal with Mapei and, so far, it’s been a smooth ride for the Australian.
Evans wore the pink jersey for one day in his debut at the Giro d’Italiain May and skipped the Tour de France, where longtime rival and now Mapeiteammate Martinez made an impressive debut. Currently competing in theCommonwealth Games, Evans said he will ride in several one-day races towind down his 2002 season.
“I will mostly riding one day races for the remainder of the year,”Evans told VeloNews. “I have had enough stage races for this year!”
After the Commonwealth Games, Evans said he will race at GP Camiaorethis week, Classica San Sebastian on Saturday, GP Eddy Merckx, Giro delFriuli and Coppa Placci (Sept. 7).
In the wake of the conclusion of the Mapei team sponsorship, Evans saidhe is still working out details of his contract next year, perhaps signingwith Quick Step as the team’s top stage-race GC rider for the future.