Why Roubaix is Roubaix

Jan 13 2010

Podium Cafe has been getting some great interviews this off-season. Last week, they published a long conversation with Dutch phenom Martijn Maaskant, and today George Hincapie stepped up to the mic.

While the whole interview is a fun read, what really struck me was this bit about Hincapie’s early departure from the ’09 Roubaix:

Last year for instance, when I flatted, I just went to move up in a corner, and I just took a little bit of a risk and got off the crown of the cobbles and went to the side of the road, and sure enough I flatted right there.

So looking back on that moment that was a big mistake because I really didn’t have to move up. We were going really slow and I was in the top ten, top fifteen position, which is totally fine. But in Roubaix there’s always that fine line in being too far back.

Sometimes you’ll miss that split of five guys, and I’m always very conscious of being up there, and I’m usually there when the split goes. But this time I tried to move up at the wrong time in the wrong place and that was the end of my race.

Yeah. I can’t decide which is more telling—that 15th wheel with 80k to go, at a not-crazy pace, wasn’t quite a good enough place to chill out for a moment, or that something as innocuous as riding in a not-perfect spot for a split second at that distance out effectively ended his race.

Man, I can’t wait for April.

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