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 >>
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Upon retirement, one place Hincapie wants to revisit (at a more leisurely pace, presumably) is Provence. "I love riding in southern France, especially in Provence," he says of the southern dry-ish French region that borders the Mediterranean and the more glitzy Côte d'Azur. "There all these tiny villages that are just beautiful, with cafes and people walking around. The towns look like they were built straight on the side of a mountain." Beyond just cruising through as he has for 17 different Tour de France races, Hincapie proposes a radical departure from the usual: "It would be nice to actually stop, have a coffee, and hang out – maybe even have a beer!"
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