Riding my bike around my town of Greenville I can’t help but hear the name George Hincapie twice on any given day. He is one of the most well known and friendliest figures in cycling; most notable for competing in a record 17 Tours de France, and having the craziest legs in any peloton. So when Hincapie announced an 80-mile Gran Fondo in the mountains of upstate South Carolina, with HUGE cycling names such as Tour de France winner Cadel Evans, Tejay van Garderen, Ted King, Christian Vande Velde, and Dave Zabriskie… I had to get involved. This is the type of event that if I wasn’t behind the camera, I’d be throwing a leg over my Scott CR1.
PAVED Magazine, in my opinion one of the most beautiful publications that focuses on the art of cycling, picked up the story and was proud to provide the images you see below. The lovable and always honest Neil Browne not only wrote the article, but suffered through the gran fondo as well.
The ride started and finished at the Hincapie-owned La Bastide Inn where the stories and beer were flowing. Hincapie’s farewell to his professional cycling career was the center of attention, but by the end of the day all of the riders were thinking more about what the 7,000+ feet of climbing did to their battered legs. Hincapie said “Cadel (Tour de France winner) thought it was a lot harder than he expected”… now that’s saying something. No wonder George calls Greenville, SC home.