Horrible Hundred

Hincapie, Zabriskie Win USPRO Titles  In a dream finish, hometown hero George Hincapie (Discovery Channel) soloed to victory in the USPRO road championship Sunday. Held in Greenville, South Carolina, this was first time the event was an all-American competition.  Hincapie, 32, was the heavy favorite and won with relative ease, thanks to the help of former and future teammate Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner). Levi set a hard pace on all five ascents of 1,872-foot Paris Mountain, halving the lead group each time up. He was also seen delivering water bottles to Hincapie. Leipheimer eventually finished second by 16 seconds as 71 of the 102 starters quit during the 120.5 miles (194 km). Leipheimer and Hincapie rode together on the old U.S. Postal Service team and will join forces again in 2007 when Levi moves to Discovery.  Danny Pate (TIAA-CREF) finished third, 1:20 behind Hincapie, who also won the coveted stars-and-stripes jersey in 1998. Until this year, an international field competed and the U.S. champion was simply the first American to finish no matter his position.  The fact that more than a hundred UCI-licensed Americans can now come to the starting line is seen as proof of pro cycling's emergence in the U.S.

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