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The Hincapie Brothers Go Into Business!
 
By Jaime Nichols
Date: 11/6/2002
The Hincapie Brothers Go Into Business!
 

George Hincapie and his older brother Rich have joined forces with Italian designer Roberto DiGiovine to launch a new line of cycling apparel. Hincapie Sportswear will supply teams and clubs with custom kits, and has created a retail line that will be sold through their website at www.hincapiesports.com, as well as through bike stores, that will seek to exemplify the quality, performance and sense of style that we have come to associate with America's premiere classics man.


George Hincapie was twelve years old when he toed the line at his first Junior Championships, and since then has steadily grown in stature and reputation as one of America's toughest in the saddle, regularly outclassing European hardmen every Spring, and doing reliable yeoman's work for Lance Armstrong year after year in the Tour de France. George's steadiness, consistency and perseverance have earned him the respect of his competitors and the admiration of cycling fans the world over. Older brother Rich, who began a life in cycling at the age of nine, was there at the start of George's brilliant career to guide him through the early days; the two of them gaining a reputation in the nineties as an unstoppable tag team with Rich delivering George to the line for victory after victory on the American criterium circuit. The Hincapie boys are carrying on a family tradition in the sport; their passion for the bike is inherited from their father, Ricardo, who hails from cycling-mad Colombia, and still rides himself.

Cycling is a way of life in the Hincapie family, and George sees in this venture an opportunity to plan for a future of continued involvement with the sport, even after retirement: "I know a cycling career doesn't last forever, and I would love to be able to stay involved," he says. "I see in this company an opportunity to continue to work in the cycling industry for many years."

George knows very well that having the right clothes can make the difference between winning and losing. He will serve Hincapie Sportswear as a technical advisor, bringing his experience of long hours in the saddle and exposure to the elements to bear in the creation of clothes that will perform at the highest level. George knows what works and what doesn't, and his experience of showing up big in every situation, from the freezing Belgian rain to the heat of the tar-boiling crucible of the Spanish Pyrenees, will inform the design and functionality of every piece in the Hincapie Sportswear line.

Rich Hincapie raced a bike in 10 countries and 35 states before turning his attention towards the development of the sport in the US, promoting the famous Michelin Cycling Classic and recently forming and directing a local elite amateur team in Greenville, South Carolina. As president of Hincapie Sportswear, he brings a passion for cycling married to a sharp business sense and a performance mindset. Rich has spent the better part of the year researching the cutting edge of materials and fabrics: "Our line will only use technologically advanced materials which will continue to evolve as technology advances," says Rich. "Our mission is to outfit North Americans with the most comfortable and functional gear using top of the line fabrics, along with George's European sense of style."

Functionality and performance are important, but as every fan of professional cycling knows, style counts. Anyone who has seen George Hincapie's sense of style in action knows that his years on the Continent have given him that certain je ne sais quoi. Rich and George have joined forces with Italian designer Robert DiGiovine, who will use his skills as a graphic artist and garment designer to replicate George's style. Roby got his art degree from the University of Verona and worked as a photojournalist and layout editor covering the Bosnian War. He returned to Italy as a graphic designer in the advertising industry, while simultaneously rising through the ranks as a professional racer. It wasn't long before he found himself combining his talents, and working as a garment designer to a stable of professional soccer and cycling teams.

Roby hooked up with the Hincapie brothers when he came to the US to ride in the Michelin Cycling Classic. Though he barely spoke two words of English, he and Rich were able to bridge the language barrier and discover a shared excitement for the idea of a cycling apparel company capitalizing on the Hincapie name and reputation. Since then, Roby has moved to Greenville, and works closely with Rich and George to bring that plan to fruition.

Hincapie Sportswear is online now to take orders from teams and clubs, and within the next few weeks, will launch their retail website. Rich Hincapie looks forward to the launch. "The retail line will really give us the freedom to express our style. We're looking forward to taking cycling apparel to the next level. With our focus on quality, performance, competitive pricing, and Roby and George bringing their European style to the table, we think we will have a combination that really sets us apart."

Contact Hincapie Sportswear through their website at www.hincapiesports.com.

 
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