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So. Time to toss Hincapie? How about Van Heeswijk?(15 posts)

So. Time to toss Hincapie? How about Van Heeswijk?Spunout
Mar 13, 2003 4:46 AM
I've been watching Postal's lame duck of the classics this winter, over three years worth of videos and he doesn't have the attack at the end. He's watched more winner's ride up the road than I can shake a stick at.

Boonen was lost in part because he didn't want to ride with the team leader...in the caravan following the peleton.

Time for a changing of the guard or what!?? Let's see Van Heeswijk step up! Or should he QuickStep out?

Is it Friday yet?
re: So. Time to toss Hincapie? How about Van Heeswijk?I Love Shimano
Mar 13, 2003 5:13 AM
MAybe if Hincapie's training wasn't geared towards supporting Lance in the TdF, maybe he'd have a better chance in the Classics.
re: So. Time to toss Hincapie? How about Van Heeswijk?teoteoteo
Mar 13, 2003 5:52 AM
Who makes the call on his training though? Is it Georgie that wants BOTH the classics AND the Tour? I could see in 99 and maybe 2000 but after then Postal has had more than enough talent to ride the Tour without George. As shocking as it may sound to some people if George did not ride the Tour USPS would be fine. I just believe that George is to blame as much as the team for training and objectives.
Hincapie's hexStupidLight
Mar 13, 2003 7:37 AM
Recent reporting on Velonews and elsewhere suggests that poor old George has a bug of some sort right now, but the doctors can't figure out exactly what it is.

My two cents are that the guy just has phenomenally bad luck. George had a great season last year, finishing near the front at most of the important lowlands classics, which shows he was really strong. For whatever reason though, the guy just can't convert that strength into wins like a Museeuw or Bettini.

It certainly doesn't help that he's up against teams like Domo and Quick step, who regularly put 3 or more guys into a winning break. So yeah George had Boonen with him at the end of Paris-Roubaix and then crashed/bonked out. That was one race! Name another time he had help all the way up to the finish of a major classic!

Unless George has some sort of subliminal mental block, it seems that his main problem is that he's riding for a non-classics team. Give him another season. If Van Heeswijk is still at the front of races in April and May, and George keeps getting shelled _then_ it might be time to re-evaluate the guy's contract.
Hincapie's hexLive Steam
Mar 13, 2003 7:49 AM
It isn't a "major classic", but it was an important race to him - the 2002 US Championship - he had three teammates with him on the last lap and in perfect position to help him to victory, and he let a break happen in front of him. He should have gone with the bridged before it became a problem, but he thought the pack he was in would pull them back. You cannot rely on others in that situation. There was not enough distance remaining in the race to make this work.
yeap, he is not very bright nmcyclopathic
Mar 13, 2003 10:41 AM
HardlyLeroy
Mar 13, 2003 6:39 AM
I agree that GH's role is supporting Lance. If he were the #1 guy maybe that would be different. LA is set to win the tour. Whether or not George wins a classic doesn't figure in to the priorities the way it looks from here. George is real good at his job. Consider the results at the end of the season.
re: So. Time to toss Hincapie? How about Van Heeswijk?Live Steam
Mar 13, 2003 6:51 AM
I have to agree. George just does not have the killer instinct. I know some guys who ride and have road/ridden? :O) with him. They describe him as a nice guy, but not the sharpest tool in the shed. I think to be a winner in the classics, one must have a plan and be sharp and calculating. George has all the skills, but I don't believe he has the savvy.

I too have watched him get great support from the team and then not make the move he needs to make in order to make him the winner. He has the condition and strength, but he does not react well to other's tactics. Look at the US Championship and Paris/Roubaix for confirmation of this. He was in perfect position from great team efforts, to win both of these events.

Boonan did not want to support George any more. I think he saw the same problems. It has to be discouraging to work your ass off for a guy you know won't know how to finish off the deal. Boonan will get great training and experience from riding with Johan.
exactamundolonefrontranger
Mar 13, 2003 9:26 AM
Lance has even subtly referred to this in years past in seeming frustration (his comments last year prior to Paris-Roubaix of "you gotta take the bull by the horns", etc.). I've known a couple pro guys who've ridden with George. He is a wonderful guy. He works damn hard. He is possibly one of the best domestiques on the planet at this time.

But, at the end of the day the consensus from everyone I've known who's been around him is the poor guy doesn't have 2 brain cells that communicate when it comes to tactical savvy. He is seemingly incapable of effectively making those crucial snap judgements necessary to make the final selection. Maybe he'll eventually get it. After 15 years of racing at the top levels as a junior / espoir and pro, I'm not so sure. He's just going to have to get lucky.
elevator doesn't go to top floor?cyclopathic
Mar 13, 2003 12:57 PM
that's impression I got watching him to loose SF prix last fall. With LA and Ekki riding for him he went alone with 25mi left.
No. Hincapie & Van Heeswijk make a good combo but...velocity
Mar 13, 2003 7:02 AM
it takes a solid team to win and USPS generally has not fielded one for Classics. If George had 3 or 4 potential winners or podium finishers on his Classics team, USPS & George would have many more Classics wins. Classics are not USPS's focus though. It is, however, Quick-Step's number one priority and, boy, do they have a team for them!

I too am frustrated with George's spring performances, but I'm pissed at Boonen dissing him in the most recent Cycle Sport and that you are ready to toss him!
A perfect example of Hincapie...funknuggets
Mar 13, 2003 8:45 AM
The heart of the matter is that he is a talented rider, but better as a domestique. Granted he has a few wins here and there, but the perfect example of a George Hincapie ride is the 2002 Ghent Wevelgem, at the end he had some useless attacks from pathetic positions and he and Rodriguez should have worked together to isolate Cipo, but as soon as Cipo bridged, it is like the fella knew he was racing for second... I guess when it comes down to it, it is his heart... but who knows. Granted, he did pull out a nice one over Van Bon in 2001.

Is it a matter of luck? Yah, the dude crashes A LOT. But comparatively... don't you think Tyler H has worse luck?
A perfect example of Hincapie...russw19
Mar 13, 2003 11:58 AM
I raced against Hincapie in the past (8 years ago) in a few races here in the states. He lacks the initative to cover crucial breaks. And yeah, the obvious next comment is that he's a pro and I am sitting at a keyboard, so who am I to criticize. But that just goes to my point. He has amazing talent, but needs direction in regards to tactical decisions. If he has race radio in his ear and it's working well, he has a better race than if there's no instructions coming to him. He does make an absolutely amazing domestique and the reason for that is the goals of the day are clear cut and spelled out for him. Also in the Tour when he is working for Lance, he is not making the decisions, Johan (a master at this in his day) and Lance are making the decisions in the race. They just tell George what to do and he does it.

I wouldn't go so far as to say he's not bright, but I never hung out after races with him round the hotel bar either. But he isn't the best tactitian in the field, but he sure as hell is strong. And when he puts his heart into a race, he is impressive, it's just that he doesn't put his head in the race with equal passion.

That's my take on him, from watching him race on TV and in person.

Russ
Give George a break - He is a fighter but is in a tough grooveMaartin
Mar 13, 2003 12:26 PM
He just seems locked into a poor luck groove. If he gets a win here or there he could snap out of it.
Give George a breakI Love Shimano
Mar 13, 2003 4:21 PM
I think he should just ditch US Postal and go ride for a Classics team. He's made for the Classics. Hasn't he thought about that? There are many many successful TdF domestiques, but fewer successful Classics specialists. This should be an easy pick for George.

Has Quickstep or Domo ever made an offer to George?