George Hincapie Announces Retirement
On June 11, 2012 road cycling legend George Hincapie revealed that this will be his final season as part of the professional road cycling peloton. Three-time U.S. national road champion Hincapie said the 2012 Tour de France in July and the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge in August will be the last two races of his incredible 19-year career.
three years of the classics and grand tour seasons as both a leader and a teammate. I am very proud that he was able to start as a professional with me on the Motorola team in 1994 and that I'm still with him at the end of his career. It's been an honor to bookend the career of one of the nicest people and one of the greatest cyclists America has ever produced," Ochowicz concluded.
BMC Racing Team Sponsor Andy Rihs said he was disappointed to hear the news, but respected Hincapie's decision to go out while still being a crucial component of the team's success. "We'll really miss him," Rihs said. "He's a great champion and while I'm saddened, I understand everything must come to an end. We wish him well and hope he stays involved in the sport because he's always been the guy I call the champion's champion."
Hincapie has taken part in five editions of the Olympics - 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008 - and is a past Tour de France stage winner who has been bettering longevity records this year in races like Paris-Roubaix (17 finishes) and the Tour of Flanders (17 finishes).
A start at this year's Tour de France later this month would bring another record: 17 participations in cycling's greatest race. He shares the record of 16 Tour de France starts (to go along with 15 finishes) with Dutchman Joop Zoetemelk and a record nine times he has helped a teammate win the three-week race.