Enzo Hincapie surprises crowd with solid finish in amateurs at Athens Twilight

Enzo Hincapie (center) is congratulated by his fan club in Athens, Georiga (IL to R): Christian Vande Velde, Rich HIncapie, father George Hincapie and Bobby Julich
Enzo Hincapie (center) is congratulated by his fan club in Athens, Georiga (IL to R): Christian Vande Velde, Rich HIncapie, father George Hincapie and Bobby Julich (Image credit: Jackie Tyson)

Look out cycling world, Enzo Hincapie is on the loose. The 13-year-old rider son of former Lance Armstrong teammate George Hincapie, won a qualifier race on Saturday morning in Athens, Georgia and then raced with the adult field in the men’s amateur finals of the Athens Orthopedic Clinic Twilight. He hit the front of the race for a few laps and finished 11th.

On the sidelines cheering for the tall, lanky teenager was father George, along with a who’s-who support group from his Greenville, South Carolina hometown which included his uncle Rich Hincapie, founder of Hincapie Sportswear, and “adopted” uncles Christian Vande Velde and Bobby Julich, both former Grand Tour pros who have relocated to Greenville. 

“It’s a big criterium for him. He’s never done this type of tight course, super-fast with adults. He’s just 13 years old. So it was great to see him in there and battle it out to the end. He was super aggressive, riding at the front of the group. I really enjoyed seeing him do well,” George Hincapie told Cyclingnews after his son crossed the finish of the final amateur event of the before the pro racers took center stage for Athens Twilight.

Enzo HIncapie, racing for ONTO p/b Hincapie Racing, was recently celebrating a pair of victories in the men’s junior 10-14 division of the Hincapie Spring Series, one in the Rock Hill Criterium. Then he stepped up to the men’s junior 15-18 level at Tiger Town Classic took a pair of fourth-place podiums in the road race and crit. A week later he improved to a win and runner-up spot in the 15-18 division back at the Hincapie Spring Series. Time to move to a bigger stage.

Hincapie only had to travel about 55 kilometres to Spartanburg, South Carolina to test his mettle against adult riders, and raced for the second time in his budding career in a category 2/3 criterium. He finished just outside the top 20. 

Most of the Athens Twilight crowd which packed the college-town course was unaware of Hincapie’s career step in the making, as they cheered wildly from the sidelines and the local bars on the course when the announcer noted that the soon-to-be-crowned winner, Luke Woodard, was on a singlespeed bike in the 25km criterium. 

“It was really fun, and very hard at the same time. Athens is now one of my favourite races,” the younger Hincapie told Cyclingnews about his impressions of taking part in the storied criterium, which has been held in Athens, Georgia for 43 years. 

Referred to as “Zo” by his father, dabbled with racing his bicycle for a few years and then became truly interested in 2021, when he took part in some regional junior races. He even raced at USA Cycling Amateur Road Nationals, taking top five honours in the 13-14 category for all three disciplines - criterium, road race and time trial.

“I do crits as training and to train for good power for the road,” Enzo Hincapie said. He was not sure if he’d race the next day at Spin the District in Hapeville, the seventh and final race in the Speed Week series, but apparently felt fine and finished mid-pack, 16th, in the men’s category 2/ 3 event on Sunday.

Enzo is the middle child in the family, his sister Julia is three years older and his brother Lucca is not yet 10. His family continues to own and operate Hincapie Sportswear and Hotel Domestique, and will host the 10th edition of the Gran Fondo Hincapie in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains this fall. They will probably attend more races this year, too.

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Jackie Tyson
North American Production editor

Jackie has been involved in professional sports for more than 30 years in news reporting, sports marketing and public relations. She founded Peloton Sports in 1998, a sports marketing and public relations agency, which managed projects for Tour de Georgia, Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah and USA Cycling. She also founded Bike Alpharetta Inc, a Georgia non-profit to promote safe cycling. She is proud to have worked in professional baseball for six years - from selling advertising to pulling the tarp for several minor league teams. She has climbed l'Alpe d'Huez three times (not fast). Her favorite road and gravel rides are around horse farms in north Georgia (USA) and around lavender fields in Provence (France), and some mtb rides in Park City, Utah (USA).