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George Hincapie - On the Road to Recovery
By Jaime Nichols
Date: 4/17/2003
George Hincapie - On the Road to Recovery

The Daily Peloton checked up on missing in action Classics man George Hincapie, who has been out of commission with what, until recently, has been a mystery illness that sapped his strength and has kept him from his favorite races this spring.

Symptoms of low-grade fever, sinus trouble, lack of endurance and insurmountable exhaustion conspired this year to keep George out of competition during what is normally his peak season; but the worst has been not knowing what was causing his illness. After taking the decision to rest instead of racing this spring, George returned home to look for answers, and finally has one.

"I had a parasitic lung infection that took a long time, and several different doctors to find out," says Hincapie. "It affected my lungs and several other normal functions in my body. I had no stamina, and I was not getting much energy from my food." Now that the condition has been diagnosed, though, Hincapie sounds optimistic: "It's easy to kill," he adds, "but it takes awhile to get back to normal after the initial die off. I've been just trying to get healthy."

Finally on the road to recovery, things are looking up. "I'm beginning to feel a bit better, and starting to ride my bike a bit now as well," he says; "hopefully I can be back in the full swing by the end of May." Even so, it's still too early to talk about racing or goals for the rest of the season. Asked about his plans, George defers. "I would like to tell you more, but I want to make sure I am 100% healthy before I can start the races again."

One thing is certain, and that is that Postal's big engine suffers no lack of motivation. Finally on the mend, Hincapie is ready to get back to work. "It's going to be a long road to get back into shape," says George, "but when the docs give me the go ahead, I will ride my ass off."

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