Cyclist George Hincapie speaks about 'Loyal Lieutenant' memoir - FOX Carolina 21

Cyclist George Hincapie speaks about 'Loyal Lieutenant' memoir

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George Hincapie talks with FOX Carolina's Cody Alcorn about his new memoir. (June 5, 2014/FOX Carolina) George Hincapie talks with FOX Carolina's Cody Alcorn about his new memoir. (June 5, 2014/FOX Carolina)

Greenville's own George Hincapie, who is one of the most recognized cyclists in the world, sat down with FOX Carolina's Cody Alcorn for his first interview with local media since his tell all memoir The Loyal Lieutenant was released last week.

"We were these kids growing up living the dream of becoming professional cyclists," Hincapie said.

Dreams turned into reality. George Hincapie is now one of the most recognized cyclists in the world, but it came at a price.

"We left home we moved to a different country," he said. "We didn't speak the language. Here we are all of sudden we're surrounded by all this stuff and we can't keep up with the slowest guy in the bunch. So of course you kind of find out what's going on."

That was the moment Hincapie said he discovered performance-enhancing drugs.

When asked if it was hard to look back at what he did at that time, Hincapie said it was.

"Absolutely, it's hard to sort of accept. We never set out to do that," he said. "You feel like you almost didn't have a choice back then. That's what you felt like."

Hincapie said a majority of people were using the drugs at the time, it made it seem like it wasn't wrong but looking back he knows it was.

He described the day anti-doping testers showed up at his house and his wife Melanie answered the door.

"That moment was pivotal in my career as a cyclist," Hincapie said. "It involved my wife, who has nothing to do with it. That was the day I completely stopped doping and chose to focus and become an advocate for anti-doping."

Hincapie helped ride to seven Tour De France titles with Lance Armstrong, which have since been stripped for doping. Armstrong wrote a forward for Hincapie's book and says they are friends.

"We went through a lot. We were kids just trying to live the dream," Hincapie said. "Unfortunately, we just made some bad decisions along the way. But even putting that stuff aside. We shared a lot of moments, a lot of history together. And I'm glad we kind of moved past that and are speaking and are friends again."

When asked if he regretted being in the role of "loyal lieutenant" to Armstrong for so many years, he said his book answers that and was happy with a supporting role, which is necessary for any team or business.

"Whether it's a cycling team, football team they need a support network," Hincapie said. "It can be a company or a business. Here at Hincapie we need a good support group. I just happen to be one of the best help, one of the best Domestiques in the world and I chose to do something I was best at."

He said he hopes his book puts an emphasis on how much cycling has changed and where the sport is today, hoping aspiring cyclists will learn from his mistakes.

The book is now available online and in local book stores.

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