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Hincapie part of nine Tour de France victories

George Hincapie (BMC) was all smiles

George Hincapie (BMC) was all smiles (Image credit: Sirotti)

BMC’s veteran George Hincapie said his teammate Cadel Evans’s Tour de France win today justified their decision to join the small, but ambitious team back in 2010.

Hincapie, who has now taken part in a record-equalling 16 Tours – tied with Dutch legend Joop Zoetemelk – has been part of nine teams which have won the yellow jersey with three separate riders: Lance Armstrong, Alberto Contador and now (if all goes smoothly on Sunday) Evans.

Hincapie said people questioned his decision to join the BMC team when it first set out to make an impact on the European scene in 2010 because it was a relatively small outfit that wasn’t guaranteed an entry to major races.

Asked if it was one of his favourite Tours, Hincapie told Cyclingnews: "They’re all so different and so special.

"This one has been as part of a sort of new team and everybody questioned my decision to come here – ‘why you going to such a small team?’ And Cadel too, imagine him joining it to now, winning the biggest race in the world – it’s quite satisfying."

Hincapie, 38, said it had been a tough edition. "It’s been a very, very stressful, tough Tour, fighting for position every day and doing more work than we’ve ever done. We knew Cadel had a chance and we wanted to give him every opportunity to make that happen.

"Really, the lowest point was seeing Cadel have a technical problem yesterday. All of a sudden we went from an awesome situation to ‘what the –’ and we had to go full gas to keep it at a minimum to a position where Cadel could close it down."

Hincapie also suggested he will be back next year. "The way he [Evans] went this year, yeah, I might have to do another one next year."

If he lines up in Liège in 2012, Hincapie will set a new record of 17 starts. However, the rider from the 1970s and 80s never abandoned so Hincapie will need to finish in Paris to equal Zoetemelk’s all-time completion record of 16 Tours.

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Sam started as a trainee reporter on daily newspapers in the UK before moving to South Africa where he contributed to national cycling magazine Ride for three years. After moving back to the UK he joined Procycling as a staff writer in November 2010.