US Postal Service Team Report

News & Results

03/16/2003| 0 comments
by Thomas Valentinsen

US Postal Service Team Report

Hincapie to miss spring classics due to lingering virus

Due to a viral infection that has hampered his endurance and has left him feeling run down and feverish, George Hincapie, the leader of the one-day Classics team for the United States Postal Service Pro Cycling Team will not compete in the month of April in order to prepare himself for the Tour de France, World Championships and other events later in the cycling season.

"He is suffering from a viral infection that does not have a clear definition as to what it is, but we have determined the only therapy is rest," said Johan Bruyneel, the team's Director Sportif.   "The fact that he has been training and racing with this has caused him great fatigue where the only solution is to rest until his body recovers.  If he was to go on, it would be like a vicious cycle.  So for him, this means no Classics and probably no races until the end of April or the beginning of May."

Hincapie has shined in the spring Classics the last handful of years, led by four top-six finishes at Paris-Roubaix the last four seasons.  Hincapie also became the first American to win Gent-Wevelgem in 2001.

However, since prior to the team's training camp in January, Hincapie has been plagued with a virus that has left him sluggish and unable to recover from long training rides.  Hincapie said that in races so far this season, he has lacked endurance and also admitted to waking up constantly feverish.   "It's hard to ride your bike feeling like that," he said.

"It's going to be tough, to be honest," Hincapie said about sitting out the spring Classics.   "As soon as I get better, I will have amazing motivation to train and get back as quick as possible.  But, to sit around and watch the Classics....It will be pretty tough for me."

"He is very disappointed, obviously," added Bruyneel.   "He wanted to keep going and to try all the possible options to get ready, but we have decided that he would never be 100%, or not even 75%, and we didn't want to put him in danger for the rest of the season.  By doing this, I'm confident we took the right decision to have George at 100% for the second part of the season, for the Tour de France and all the races after the Tour.  This will be very different for George, as no Classics will give him his first peak at the Tour de France, then the after-Tour Classics and the World Championships.  This is something new for him, this is a big change."

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