On Monday, cyclist George Hincapie will commence his final race, the grueling, six-day USA Pro Cycling Challenge in the Colorado Rockies. Afterwards, he will enter retirement at the ripe age of 37 as one of the all-time greats: He has ridden the Tour de France a dizzying 17 times – the most in the Tour's history – during which he assisted Lance Armstrong in his seven victories (as well as yellow-jersey winners Alberto Contador in 2007 and Cadel Evans in 2011), and has taken a dozen stages himself, including stage 15 in 2005. As he looks to call it quits, Hincapie shows no interest in starting triathlons. His plans: Hiking, getting to know the bars in Greenville, South Carolina (his hometown), and keeping up his daily ride. "I plan on riding forever. My dad is 70 years old and he's still riding. I'll be there." Launch Gallery >>
Photograph by Joseph Branston / Getty Images
Greenville, South Carolina
Hincapie has become something of an ambassador for Greenville, South Carolina, his home some 60 miles south of Asheville, North Carolina, for the past decade. A small city of 60,000, it sits in between the Sumter, Pisgah, and Chattahoochee National Forests. "This is a town for you if you're an outdoors person," he says. "There's mountain biking, world-class climbs on a road bike, and hiking." But beyond the attractions of the great outdoors, there's some pretty attractive indoor experiences as well. "There are tons of restaurants downtown, like Soby's, The Lazy Goat, and Rick Erwin's. And bars – "that's something I'm going to have to explore more in retirement." Hincapie also has a place for you to stay: He recently bought La Bastide Hotel, which he hopes will become a base camp for adventurous visitors to his chosen home. "We want people to come in from all over the world and do high-end cycling and triathlon camps and go running and just see why we love Greenville so much."
Credit: GreenvilleCVB / Firewater Photography