There was an article in my local paper today about George Hincapie's trouble in the tour. I have looked and looked and I cannot find this article anywhere online, even on Lexus/Nexus. Doing google searches has turned up people in forums talking about how they think George looks too thin, but not the article. So for your reading pleasure, I have typed up the entirety of the article:
You can't be too fast, but you can be too thin
Gannett News Service
George Hincapie, the American rider who wore the Tour de France's yellow leader's jersey for one thrilling day early in this year's race and was seen as the successor to former teammate Lance Armstrong, is now more than 20 minutes behind the leader and essentially out of the race.
Why? The team doctor says that he went too far in efforts to slim down for the mountain stages.
`He's pretty tired," Rich Hincapie, the cyclist's brother and business partner, said by phone.
"We talked to the team doctor, and he said that basically George came into the tour so skinny that his body doesn't have enough reserves to recover day to day. It was kind of a big gamble to lose as much weight as he did. After a while, you start burning muscle," he said.
Many cyclists think they become better climbers if they drop some weight.
Hincapie, who claimed the yellow jersey as overall leader on the second day of the tour, plummeted to 40th overall Thursday.
He rebounded to place 39th Friday in a mountain stage won by Discovery teammate Yaraslov Popovych but remains 22 minutes and 59 seconds behind American Floyd Landis of the Phonak team, in yellow for a second day.
Rich Hincapie said he arrived in Europe this week to find his six-foot-three brother looking "almost unhealthy skinny," he said, and estimated that his weight is close to 20 pounds below the 175 pounds listed on Hincapie's Discovery team bio sheet.
"The doctor said (for George) to eat as much as he can. But the problem is that his stomach has gotten small, and he can only eat so much," Rich Hincapie said. "He gets full and feels full. And feeling full is not enough for the reserve tank for these long stages."
This makes a lot of sense to me. I always thought George was a much stronger rider than the way that he is currently performing. He's also a tour veteran, so shouldn't he know the correct way to prepare for the tour? Well, he knows how to prepare to support Lance, but not how to prepare to win. Probably no one knows how to prepare to win unless they've done it a couple times. George knew he had to perform better in the mountains to win, and a clear way to do that is to have less weight to haul up those climbs. Now that he knows he lost too much, I think next year (barring an accident or illness) he will be much better prepared. I still have faith in George Hincapie. So he lost too much weight. If everyone knew how to prepare perfectly for the tour, we wouldn't have this wide open race where anything can happen- instead we would have a bunch of uber-riders shadow boxing with each other all the time. I feel better having read this article. It would be nice if I could find that information somewhere else, but I promise you it really did appear in my newspaper. For the rest of the tour my Discovery GC aspirations will rest on Popo and Jose, and I will be awaiting the arrival of the new improved George next year.