MOW Greenville named beneficiary of inaugural Hincapie Gran Fondo event

KDS Principal Larry Webb quoted in Charlotte Observer article

Cyclist George Hincapie takes final ride

Cyclist George Hincapie admits to doping, joins supporters for last ride

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TRAVELERS REST, S.C. Professional cyclist George Hincapie rode off into the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Travelers Rest, S.C., early Saturday, surrounded by thousands of his fellow cyclists and supporters.

The ride, Gran Fondo Hincapie, marked the retirement of the former Charlotte resident after 19 years as a professional cyclist.
“This is a really special day for myself, my family and fans,” Hincapie said to riders before the race. “Thank you all for coming out and for your support.”

Cadel Evans, 2011 winner of the Tour de France, stood shoulder to shoulder with Hincapie at the race’s start line, which was sandwiched between a vineyard and the Hincapies’ hotel, La Bastide.
Saturday’s 1,300 racers traveled along a winding route that climbed more than 7,000 feet in elevation – one Hincapie knows well and used to prepare for the Tour de France and the Paris-Roubaix races.
“It’s great; we’re all here celebrating George’s retirement,” said Rich Hincapie, George Hincapie’s brother. “The support is nothing but a testament to George’s character.”

During George Hincapie’s career, he competed in 15 Tour de France races and represented the United States in five Olympic Games. He also placed second in the 2005 Paris-Roubaix, ranking higher than any other American in history.

Rich Hincapie said he hopes his brother’s retirement ride continues as an annual charity event. He said his goal is to grow the ride to 3,000 racers in three years.
BMC racing team spokesman Sean Weide said George Hincapie was “blown away by the turnout and supporters” at the ride.

Proceeds at this year’s inaugural event benefit the Greenville, S.C., chapter of Meals on Wheels. Through funds raised, about 4,000 to 6,000 meals can be served to individuals each day for weeks – roughly four times the average reach, said Larry Webb, past chairman of the board for the chapter.

“George is our local hero,” Webb said. “He’s always done great things for our community, and today we’re out here for him.”

Each April for the past seven years, Webb said he has worked closely with Hincapie to host charity rides.

“Rich and George have been big supporters each year, and George is a huge part of the cycling community,” Webb said.

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