George Hincapie and Johan Bruyneel Interview
Q&A with the man in yellow.
George Hincapie Q&A:
Were you aware at the finish that you had a shot at yellow and how when did you realize that you had it?
Yes - I was aware once I got those tow seconds that Boonen had to win and Hushovd has to get a Top 3 placing or else I would take the jersey - that's specifically why I went for it. I know that the first week at the Tour is always so difficult and chaotic and a battle for position there's no guarantee anyone's getting a stage win or a top placing, so I took the opportunity and I think I made a good decision.
At what point in the race did you start formulating this plan?
As soon as we caught the break away, 3 kms before the sprint. I realized there was still one guy up the road and four seconds up for grabs and it looked like the sprinters were more concerned with saving energy for the final sprint. So I just started moving my way up and attacked - maybe a bit too early as one Credit Agricole guy came around me - but tow seconds was enough.
So now you have the two seconds, did you even consider contesting the sprint as well?
No, no? it was pretty chaotic. It was all about staying near the front and not losing any time by getting caught up in any gaps.
Wearing the yellow jersey at the Tour de France is every cyclists' dream. You're backstage waiting to get your jersey - what's going through your mind?
Just happiness, really? yesterday I was so disappointed about losing - and losing so close. Today just made that all go away. This is my 11th Tour de France and I've never worn the yellow jersey so it's really a great honor and a huge deal for me.
Obviously you've been congratulated plenty of times since the podium - who are some of the folks who have gotten in touch with you?
(laughs) Everybody! There were over 100 messages on my Blackberry, but the first person I called was my wife, and then my brother. Lance also called and said I looked great in yellow and he really liked it?
So what about defending the jersey? Johan's already said yes to tomorrow, do you as a team leader want to extend your team in defense further this early on in the race?
That's really up to Johan. For me I am just really happy to have the yellow jersey today and I'm going to soak up the moment as much as I can. I know I have prepared better and am in better shape than I have ever been. How well I'll do at the end I just don?t know but I can only hope and wish for the best - take the Tour day by day, and