Twisted Spoke

My twisted take on the world of pro bike racing.

Archive for the ‘BMC’ Category

The Hincapie interview. What he left unsaid: the BMC Hincapie Sportwear clothing clause.

leave a comment »

Dressed for success. The Lycra CEO.

Just why exactly did George Hincapie leave Columbia for BMC? The question has yet to go away and in his recent interview with Velonews he gave his reasons yet again.

What he left out though, was the real reason: he wanted to make a fortune selling his Hincapie Sportswear and BMC now wears Hincapie every time they step off the team bus. If you saw his contract, you’d see the big fat Clothing Clause.

Let’s go over the verbatim transcript of his interview and just insert the missing words he wanted to but couldn’t say.

“I think people now understand why I came here [selling Hincapie Sportswear, baby]  The vibe among the team is great [Evans digs the Hincapie compression shorts]  the ambiance among the team has been fun [Ballan is all over the Hincapie socks and shorts!]’

“For me, it’s important to keep things new [like the new Signature George line!] and have new challenges [double Hincapie Sportswearsales by end of 2010] So, for me going to BMC, and me helping them become a world-class team was very appealing to me [Even the Hincapie womens’ line gets a boost]”

“I enjoyed the Giro. I really enjoy and appreciate the Italian culture [Ha! They wear that cheap De Marchi crap] and the ambience amongst the fans. I would love to do it again [not!] but obviously I want to do the Tour of California this year [Hincapie market share is USA heavy, baby, I don’t need the euro market right now]”

“Mark (Cavendish) and I still talk several times a week, we still have a great relationship, and he understands my decision to come to Team BMC and why I came here [I left him a pile of free Hincapie sportswear. Mark’s good for a plug.]”

“My inspirations are easy [duh, move merchandise! Buy more Hincapie!] — they’ll come from the team being successful [Wearing my branded Hincapie product]  the team being cohesive, and the team gaining worldwide attention [even showcasing my Hincapie Skin Defense stuff.] Whether that comes from winning bike races, I don’t know, but inspirations are simple, for me. [this Hincapie clothing clause was brilliant.]”

There you have it. The inside story on why George Hincapie left Columbia. In three words: no clothing deal. When BMC called him, George’s first question was, “who’s your team wear supplier?” Bingo.

P.S. George, I don’t know how long I can keep plusing your sales figures without, you know, a small token of appreciation. Don’t forget my post about the sexy Hincapie compression corsets, either. Money in the bank. I’m an XL, big fella, just like you.


Written by walshworld

February 18, 2010 at 7:49 pm

“I gotcha back” says BMC brothers Hincapie and Ballan. Wu-Tang inspiration for classics.

with 4 comments

BMC and GZA RZA. A classics team with the stone cold rapper attitude.

Latest word from the BMC camp came with a definitive pronouncement from Hincapie, Ballan and Marcus Burghardt that the former leader of the Wu-Tang Clan would salute: “I got your back.”

All three men are prepared to go to the wall for each other in the Spring classics. No egos, no attitude, just hard racing for whoever has the best legs that day.

“It’s definitely not a problem, it’s a strength,” Ballan said. “We all have goals, but if one wins, we all win. Before I signed, I called George to ask him about the decision, and he was happy – he signaled that we would support each other in our individual goals.”

The Hell of the North is much the same as the inner city ghetto. Cobblestones and concrete and twenty guys trying to beat you up and break you down. Both men have been on the podium at Paris-Roubaix — they know what it takes to survive in the Hood of the North.

“I’m excited to do the races, and to have several cards to play in the finale. Ballan and Burghardt have been up there many times, and are very talented,” said big George. He called out BMC as “the strongest Classics team I’ve ever been on.”

Never much of a cyclist, but a rapper, author and actor, RZA put it this way, “I gotcha back but you do best to watch your front, ’cause it’s the niggaz in front that be pulling stunts.” You don’t need a decoder ring to know that would be Tom Boonen he’s alluding to.

Now maybe it’s the BMC doo-rag, but Hincapie knows how this whole ProTour thing goes down. “It’s my place … to know if I need to be sole leader that day. If I’m not doing great, I know that I can still do one of the best jobs in the world to help the guy who feels the best.” Word up or man up or nut up — you know? Whatever sounds bad-ass.

It’s possible that the influence of Latino gangs around the Santa Rosa, California area (BMC’s base of operations) has also served to harden rider attitudes. Some of the BMC riders are reportedly carrying knives and cans of spray paint, tagging local buildings with slogans like “Quick Step Dies” and “Kill The Belgian.”

The new attitude may also come from the one man who sets the tone for BMC — the enforcer Cadel Evans, the mad dingo dog of BMC. That sophisticated piano music died last year and Wu-Tang Clan is in heavy rotation.

You can call it the Ronde van Vlaanderen or you can admit it’s one big ride-by shooting. Blood mixed with Belgian mud and cobbles.

Written by walshworld

January 28, 2010 at 4:39 pm

Meet Mr. Aggressive, Cadel Evans. The Tour Down Under bad boy.

with one comment

Cadel before Christ.

Cadel Evans, tough guy. Yeah, that feels strange but we’re getting used to it.

The 2010 Tour Down Under is the first Protour event for Evans wearing the rainbow strip jersey of World Road Race Champion. What his home town fans are seeing up close is a man with a successful personality transplant. Evans the dull is now Evans the bold.

Since his big win in Mendrisio, Switzerland with an uncharacteristically aggressive attack on the final climb, Evans has completely changed his racing style. The conservative tactician always calculating odds is now the impulsive, daring rider who sees blood and bares pointy incisors.

Cleal 1, pigs 0.

You’re looking at a new tough guy joining the Australian ranks. Bad asses like famous rugby plater Noel Cleal. One story goes that his parents asked him to deal with a plague of wild pigs on the farm. He cornered one of the dangerous pigs, and while it savaged his hand, he felled the beast with a single blow from his other hand. He played the rest of his career missing a few fingers. That’s the kind of Cadel we’re dealing with now.

Underplaying his form coming into his home tour, Evans stated some modest goals for the week. He planned to memorize the names of his new teammates and get in some training. What we didn’t know was that just behind that lie was a fiery cauldron of fury waiting to be unleashed. He must have been listening to Megadeath all week.

When stage three rolled around Evans surprised everyone with an attack. On a searing hot day in Sterling, Evans not only foiled the sprinters but nearly won, taking third behind Spaniard Alejandro Valverde. That was the new Cadel in action. It would have been easy to say, good on you mate, you gave the locals something to cheer, now time to relax.

Cadel. The new Wolverine.

But we’re talking about Evans the gladiator — yes, like fellow Australian Russell Crowe in the Ridley Scott sword and sandal classic. Old Rome and Old Willunga Hill, it’s all the same thing. On the second climb up Willunga, Evans again launched a brutal assault and only Alejandro (borrowed time) Valverde, his mate Samuel Sanchez and Slovakian Peter Sagan had the legs to keep up.

The in-your-face move nearly won him the Tour Down Under. Eventual winner Andre Greipel almost had a heart-attack and his HTC-Columbia team were forced to ride like turbo slaves to save his ochre jersey.

Evans looked razor sharp, maybe even Wolverine sharp. Yes, again, another Australian tough guy played by Hugh Jackman and ten sharp knives. Where was mild mannered Cadel Evans, the man with the classical pianist wife and sophisticated tastes? Dead, that’s where. This was wild man Evans, the crazy bushman of the peloton. You never know what this man will do.

Tour de France legend claims the yellow jersey gives a man wings. Well, the rainbow jersey gave Evans a 50 gallon drum of legal testosterone. Those stripes came with fire. Or we could also call Cadel the deranged Dingo dog at the evil Australian junkyard. Maybe he has a gun collection, chews tobacco and watches old Chuck Norris movies, too.

Cadel Evans is an animal — snarling, hyper-aggressive and barely house-trained. Watch out, boys and girls, the rainbow bad-ass is headed your way.

Written by walshworld

January 24, 2010 at 9:25 pm