USPRO riders ready to hit the road in Greenville

By Jon Devich in Greenville

Six riders lined up for Thursday's press conference in Greenville, SC today to begin the USPRO weekend of racing. Headlining the kickoff was George Hincapie, fresh off his near win in the Eneco Tour which ended in a disastrous crash within site of the finish line.

Hincapie was still sounding positive about his chances here, "Last week I was in great shape…I had a crash in Belgium, I didn't get injured too bad and just got some road rash and should be one of the top riders on Sunday."

Having a chance to race in front of his home town crowds and on the scenic roads around Greenville should also be a boost for George. "It's great training here, great weather and the people are really nice. I came here to ride my bike and I'll stay here long beyond when I finish my career," added George.

Also here to experience the Greenville southern hospitality and bolster the Discovery Team roster was recent Race to Replace winner A.J. Smith. Smith won a spot on the Discovery team for the USPRO Championships by winning an open selection race in Indianapolis a couple weeks ago.

A.J. described his hopes for tomorrow. "I have no specific ambitions for tomorrow. More than anything it's just an unbelievable experience to be riding on the same course as these guys."

Lining up next to Hincapie and Smith was young hopeful Craig Lewis of the TIAA-CREFF team, also a South Carolina resident from nearby Spartanville. TIAA-CREFF brought the weekend's largest team at 14 riders and Lewis believes it will be a tough race on Sunday.

Lewis had this to say about Sunday, "The course Sunday is pretty tough; we do 5 times up Paris Mountain. Other than that, the weather's been hot the past week so that's going to be the type of factor, if it's like it was a couple days ago, their won't be many guys left."

The media friendly David Zabriskie did not think today's time trial course would be too tough though. "It's got some little hills, some turns and stuff. No big deal." Zabriskie clearly didn't find it a big deal today, as he won by 31 seconds.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Jonathan Devich/

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