Greenville Celebrates BMC Tour de France Victory

Thanks to all who joined us for the Tour de France Celebration ride! We hope you enjoy the short video we’ve put together of the event.

There was a big competition on the ride up Paris Mountain. The first male and female cyclists up the climb were these superfast riders, Ted and Cynthia.

Getting in the Spirit for Paris Roubaix

We had a great time on our Paris Roubaix celebration ride today. We promised cobblestones and we delivered!  Thanks to the dedicated fans that came out to join us.

We planned a route that featured 2 Pave sections (ok, we’re calling both of them Pave, but one was more like gravel).  We headed north from the Hincapie HQ on the Swamp Rabbit Trail to Pave section #1.  This is the short gravel section of the trail after Roe Ford Rd. that we normally curse, but today it was more reasonable.  You could tell that some of the group had been reading rider diaries from the race, because the pace immediately quickened over the rocks.  Just like in France, right!

We started from a gravel parking lot behind Hincapie HQ to get in the spirit quickly.

From there we headed back towards downtown over the base of Paris Mountain where (just by chance) we found Pave section #2, an unexpected Pave section very close to George’s house.  In the spirit of the weekend, the DOT had ground up the asphalt to prepare for a repaving.  At this point, as a rumbled over the rough surface, I couldn’t help but wonder how close this was to the actual torture they will face during the race.  I settled on “not even close” as I rode one-handed trying to shoot some video of the experience.

 

After the construction zone we headed back down North Main, retracing part of the USPro RR course. We were headed to Pave section #3, the only authentic “cobblestone” section in downtown Greenville. This would culminate our celebration and get all of us charged up for the weekend’s race.  Or it would at least give us a truer understanding of what George and the BMC boys will go through on Sunday.

We found our Roubaix replica cobbles behind the Upcountry History Museum.

Before you tell me that there are other cobblestone sections in Greenville, please realize that we aren’t talking about smooth brickwork with little tiny gaps between bricks. We’re not talking about the smooth, decorative pavers scattered around downtown. If you can roll your baby stroller across it without waking up junior, it’s not a true section of Pave.  We rolled up to the stones in front of the Upcountry History Museum thinking we would finally experience a little bit of Paris Roubaix.  What an experience it was?!?!  Those guys are crazy. One well traveled cyclist was with us and who had actually ridden through the Arenberg Forest on his bike.  He confirmed that the Pave section we finished on was indeed close to what they ride in the actual race.  Big difference is…we rode about 100 meters…and they will ride over 50 kilometers of that stuff on Sunday!  It was humbling to realize what they actually go through.  Good luck to George and the BMC boys this weekend.  Everyone that finishes that race deserves a trophy.

Those are some nasty rocks!

We didn't have any major mishaps, but we did break a shifter cable on our Pave.

Testing Velocity Speedsuit at the A2 Wind Tunnel

Sometimes the margin of victory in a bicycle race is measured in fractions of a second.  This is especially true in time trials, where aerodynamics is critical.  That is precisely why we do everything we can to provide George Hincapie and his BMC Racing Team teammates with every possible advantage when it comes to their cycling apparel.  The Hincapie Velocity Speedsuit is one garment that can provide a performance advantage, and we spent some research and development time in the A2 Wind Tunnel this week to make further improvements to our aerodynamic suit.

Once we get over the “WOW” factor of being at A2’s super cool, high tech facility, we got down to business testing 4 suits made out of 4 different fabrics.  In order to make the testing as scientifically accurate as possible, we had to make sure that the only variable we changed was the suit material.  This is where a world class professional like George Hincapie can assist.  He rode the same BMC bicycle in the same position for every test.  The only thing we changed for each test was the speedsuit fabric, and all the suits were identical except for the material.  Speedsuit #1 was the 2010 Velocity Speedsuit used by the BMC Racing Team this season.  The other 3 materials were new prototype low-drag fabrics.  With the help of A2 Wind Tunnel’s bicycle aerodynamics guru, Mike Giraud we collected great data and determined what material provided the most significant advantage.

In the end, speedsuit prototype #2 proved to be slipperier than the fabric we used in 2010 by about 0.5%-1%.  Since drag is a significant component in the speed equation, this means that prototype #2 is faster than the current suit.  How much faster?  At the speeds that Pro cyclists travel in an average time trial, the 0.5%-1% drag savings would amount to approximately a 5 second savings over a 40K TT!  In a world where victories are measured in fractions of a second, that is a fairly significant time savings.  (Just ask World Champion and BMC Racing Team member, Taylor Phinney how important seconds can be, as he won the USPro TT Championship by less than a second.)

Mike Giraud sets up the BMC Time Machine George uses for training.
Warming up for the testing, while some knuckleheads walk into the tunnel. Oh, wait, that looks like...never mind.
Thought this was one of the coolest shots of the day.
Mike, at mission control, crunches some numbers on the A2 Wind Tunnel's super computer.

More Speed to Come...

Big George on the Cover of Bicycling Magazine

If you haven't picked up the latest issue of Bicycling Magazine, you will want to run out now and get one.  Better yet, search around for 2.  Why 2?  Because our very own George Hincapie is featured on the January cover...twice.  That's right, they made 2 covers for the magazine and they are circulating both.  One features George looking tough in his George Signature Jersey and Bibshorts standing in front of his BMC TeamMachine.  The other (obviously shot because he was looking for dapper in his Hincapie Premium Denim Jeans) shows off a new BMC Alpenchallenge bike.  Both are available so make sure you collect them both.

If you're interested, photo-genius (and all around nice guy) Patrick Cavan Brown captured these images for Bicycling.  Way to go Patrick!

A Ride for Mark Knights Video

There are very few times in life when you actually realize just how many people’s lives you touch.  Sunday was one of those special times for our good friend Mark Knights.  And, he has touched quite a few of our lives in a very positive way.

 

 

Over 300 friends and family showed up at Hincapie Sportswear HQ yesterday ready to Ride for Mark Knights.  As we posted on here before, Mark is in a fight for his life and we all assembled to help stack the deck against the enemy…and enjoyed a beautiful sunny SC bike ride at the same time.  I’m proud of all the supporters that showed up and helped out with the cause.  We raised some money and some spirits at the same time.

 

Speaking of Spirits, big thanks go out to Thomas Creek Brewing for supplying the beer and to Carolina Triathlon for supplying the food.  There were numerous other sponsors and supporters that pitched in and made this such a great day.  Thanks to them all.

 

Thanks also go out to George Hincapie, Craig Lewis and Chris Butler for showing up and bringing friends.    Several autographed jerseys are currently up on eBay with the hopes of raising even more funds for Mark.  Check them out and help us run up the bidding.

George Hincapie USPro BMC Jersey

Craig Lewis htc-Columbia Jersey

Mark Cavendish Tour of California Sprinter Jersey

 

Finally, we want to thank Tonya Wilson Shuba and Brian Myrick for concepting and organizing this entire function.  Sure they had help, but they really deserve a big pat on the back for making this a successful event.  Helmets off to you both for a job well done.

 

Mark, you have helped a whole lot of us in the past with your skilled wrenches, experienced advice and sharp wit and we are all proud to be giving back to you.  Keep up the good fight, my friend.  As you saw on Sunday, you have many supporters.

 

If you missed this event, and you'd like to make a donation to Mark Knights, you can do so at:

https://go-greenevents.com/donate/id/99

 

Channel 4 was also there to cover the news.  See the story.

Vantage Jerseys and Bib Shorts
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