Discovery Channel Team Report

News & Results

03/21/2006| 0 comments
by P.J. Rabice

Discovery Channel Team Report

The Discovery Channel Team has had some solid shows of strength from a variety of riders to open the 2006 season.

To date, the Discovery Channel Team has had some solid shows of strength from a variety of riders to open the 2006 season and oddly enough, none of their last names have been Armstrong.   At the inaugural Amgen Tour of
, George Hincapie captured 2 stage wins and finished 4 th place overall. Over in
Europe, Leif Hoste has shown great early season fitness with a 2 nd place at the 1-day race, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, as well as a 2 nd place finish in the individual time trial at Tirreno-Adriatico.   Additionally, Jose Azevedo, Chechu Rubiera (6 th and 9 th overall at Paris-Nice), Roger Hammond (3 rd in stage ?Ruta del Sol), Paolo Savoldelli, George Hincapie and Tom Danielson (4 th, 8 th and 10 th overall respectively) have all shown great form in the first month of racing with nothing more in their legs than some ?non-specific? early season fitness.   You know, the kind of fitness that we mere mortals of cycling, treadmills and swimming laps would die for and that these guys can obtain in about one months time.


A little bit about George

During the Tour of California I spent a fair amount of time with George Hincapie in the holding tent after each of his 2 stage wins and green jersey podium appearances.   And what became very clear to me was that these early season wins had filled him with confidence.   George couldn?t help but smile about each of his wins as they were both the end result of his teammates? hard work. In both instances his teammates worked hard to protect him over a climb and down into the valley below so that he could sprint away in the final meters of the race for the win.  


However, even with his first win of the 2006 season secure he was clearly looking ahead to the month of July.   As we waited for the podium ceremony after George won the hilly stage into
San Jose
where he was dropped on the final climb, I put George on the phone with team director Johan Bruyneel.   George?s first words to Johan were, ?Don?t lose faith in me for the Tour. I?m going to lose some weight and be good in the mountains.?   Johan told me later at the hotel that George?s climbing was of no concern to him at this early point in the season and that he was simply happy to see him win and gain some early season confidence. It was clear that Johan knows George?s work ethic and professionalism and is confident that he will be prepared for the 2006 Tour de France come July.


More recently, I sent a note to George congratulating him and commenting on his good fitness after he contested a sprint finish at Tirreno-Adriatico alongside speedsters such as Thor Hushovd and Alessandro Petacchi finishing 5 th on the day. While some would be satisfied with a 5 th place stage finish, George?s response to me was, ?That?s nothing,


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