Traffic can’t stop George Hincapie

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ADELAIDE, Australia -- After finishing 45th in Stage 2 of the Tour Down Under, Lance Armstrong answered a few questions and then was escorted into a royal blue Skoda car and beat a quick exit from the oval where the team support vehicles were set up. The oval is the local park where rugby, cricket and Aussie-rules football can all be played.

Most cyclists wait until the entire team has settled down, rehydrated, done interviews, relaxed a bit and then get on a team bus and head back to the hotel.


And then there are the smart guys, such as Team Columbia’s George Hincapie, left. He rode his bicycle the 15 miles from the finish in Stirling to the Hilton in Adelaide.

After the finish, an announcement had been made that Armstrong would hold a separate press conference at the hotel at 4 p.m. The announcement came about 3:15 p.m. and you never know how local traffic and the local race fans will clog up the roads.

While a particular car full of journalists was waiting impatiently at a stop light and trying to rely on the Hertz NeverLost guidance voice to tell them where to go, Hincapie breezed on by, still on his bike, pedaling on back to the hotel. He beat the car and didn’t even need the NeverLost lady.

-- Diane Pucin