Australian cyclist Cadel Evans can almost sense the thrill of victory. In the current Tour De’ France cycle race he ‘s managed to stay in the top three. In past years he’s come second twice, and this year he’s keeping us on tender hooks as to whether he’ll come home with the yellow jacket.
This year it seems he stands his best chance ever of winning. The reason? A remarkable teammate, George Hincapie. George is the man who guided Lance Armstrong to seven successive victories in the race.
This is to take nothing away from Cadel. He has worked tirelessly for the year and if he didn’t have dogged persistence he wouldn’t be in the position he currently is. Cadel himself acknowledges the remarkable work of this big man George who is captain of his BMC team.
George Hincapie 37, has emerged as ‘the joker in the pack’ for Evans. He has mentored the often stressed Aussie into a state of serene confidence that has been rare for Cadel. The big American’s confidence comes from his immense experience . He’s contesting a record equalling sixteenth tour, and has helped his team win eight previous victories. He works hard to keep Evans out of danger and has coached him into what many believe is his best form ever .
Evans has repeatedly praised his teammates, and particularly his big Shepherd. He calls his big mate his extra set of eyes on the road, celebrating George the Joker’s brilliant tactical capacity that comes out of his swift decision-making in the heat of battle. From Victoria, Evans says things have changed remarkably since he joined the BMC team last season: “I am now in a completely different environment. We share the same commitment and we work together for the same goals and the results speak for themselves.”
He knows his healthy position in the race owes no more small debt to the sacrifices of his eight teammates. It was the toil of the team that on stage four of the tour left Evans to shoot it out with the reigning champion Contador. Of course it was the Aussie who won. For Evans it was a seminal moment. On reflection, Hincapie said “Victory comes from the head and the heart. And the Aussie had the tikker.”
Of course the winning team is the one with united heart and mind.
I am reminded of the words of Emerson who said,”We all need somebody to help us become what we might be.”
A star team will always beat a team of stars.
There’s an old American country music song reflected on life with the words, ”The problem with the world today everybody wants to be lead singer in the band, and nobody wants to play rhythm guitar behind Jesus.”