Highlands Ranch Area Cycling Road Cycling Colorado Streech Greg Streech Gregory

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Hincapie Hosed!

Georgie came into the 7th and final stage of the Eneco Tour of Benelux with a 3 second lead over Stefan Schumacher of Gerolsteiner. Here's a recap of the stage 7 finish from www.thepaceline.com.

An amazing and controversial finish at the Tour of Benelux as first Philippe Gilbert (FDJ - 28" down on GC) went off on a daring final 5 km solo shot. But an attentive final select group was not going to let him get that far down the road knowing that a 10" time bonus was waiting on the line. But while Gilbert would go on to win by 2" on the day, the final drama took place in the last 100m.

As the peloton drove down to come oh-so-close to catching Gilbert, 2nd place Schumacher (3" down on GC) had Discovery Channel race leader George Hincapie locked right onto his wheel. As they came hard down to the line, Schumacher on the left against the barriers, a spectator's arm came out of the crowd accidentally striking Schumacher's head / left arm / upper body. The Gerolsteiner rider immediately swept hard right to try and avoid it and in the process took out Hincapie's front wheel, dumping him to the ground, and then Schumacher went on to get 3rd on the stage and the 4" time bonus potentially making him the race leader by 1" in a very, very controversial finish.

As Schumacher plead his case to anyone that would listen, Hincapie and Assistant Sports Manager Dirk Demol made their opinions known and then waited on the judges' decision, and a very frustrating one for Hincapie as they determined Schumacher was not at fault, the result stands and Schumacher wins the Tour of Benelux by one second. As he came to the stage to accept the red jersey the young Schumacher was clearly not happy with the way things ended as this highly controversial final stage will be one talked about for years to come.


At August 23, 2006 1:20 PM, Blogger Dirt - LPBME said...

Can someone explain why the time wasn't nuetralized if there is a crash inside the final K?

At August 23, 2006 4:46 PM, Blogger RideTrek said...

The time was neutralized, but they gave Schumacher 4 bonus seconds for finishing 3rd. He was 3 seconds behing Hincapie to start the day. They should have given Schumacher the same time, but not allowed him to keep the bonus. Hincapie was right on his wheel and may have outsprinted him for the bonus. It's one thing if someone else had crashed George, but the guy who benefitted is the one who crashed him out.


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