Retaining motivation is a test for every rider towards the end of their careers. George Hincapie has been competing for longer than many in the professional peloton but, thanks to a change of scenery, he's determined to have a strong season in 2008. Cyclingnews' Shane Stokes spoke to the American about his move to Team High Road.
It takes a considerable amount of courage to change a decade-long pattern. Eleven years isn't quite a lifetime, but George Hincapie has been with the US Postal Service/Discovery Channel setup for all of that time, making it the team of choice for the bulk of his 14 year pro career.
2008 will be different. The now 34 year-old rider is changing teams for only the second time in the period since he joined the paid ranks with Motorola in 1994, choosing earlier this year to strike out on a new path rather than play it safe. At the time that rumours first surfaced that he'd be joining T-Mobile [now Team High Road], the Discovery management was still sounding positive about the chances of continuing with a team in 2008. Hincapie could have waited – and probably would have ultimately been offered a job by Johan Bruyneel on Astana - but he wanted to try something new.
"I've been on the same team for a long time," he said, speaking about his decision to leave Bruyneel and the others in the Discovery Channel group. "I was always wondering what else was out there. Then Bob [Stapleton] came along with T-Mobile and his vision for cycling, which was very attractive to me. We started chatting about it and I just thought it would be a great place for me to go."