Hincapie Nightmare Going On Right Now As You're Reading This


Richard Longwoo

So I, George Hincapie, quit Het Volk and start a Belgian restaurant theme park where, at some point
during the meal, you are suddenly interrupted by the sounds of loud explosions and falling power
lines outside. Then a steam pipe bursts just beyond the door and water floods the room to about ankle-
height, while car horns blare and Campy brakes screech and the sounds of metal slamming metal
continues in the background for several minutes. Formerly camouflaged video screens in all 4 walls
and the ceiling suddenly blip on, showing nearby sewers backing up, and the restroom endlessly
overflowing thick dark clumps of fecal matter, and high-speed subway cars collide and roadways
crumble down on top of me, all over town. Meanwhile, in a semi-secluded corner of Gent, Lance
Armstrong and Marco Pantani start a loud, violent screaming match, throwing food and dishes and
swearing vicious accusations and obscenities at each other. This continues on until around dessert,
and then, suddenly, at some golden moment, the explosions stop, the monitors would blip off one by
one, the water would drain, the surfaces would dry, and Lance and Marco stop fighting, until, in the
gradually silenced room, all that could be finally heard was the sound of breathing. Deep breathing.
Stomach breathing. The breathing of Johan Museeuw. Then, the man (Johan) reaches back and brings out
a small, wrapped gift and hands it to me -- and I excitedly undo the bow, open it up, and remove a
delicate, silver necklace with silver lettering. The letters spell LOSER. I put it on, it glistens,
while patrons of the Belgian restaurant, all around, start laughing at me. Shaming me into a cold
sweat. Then the waiters clasp hands in a long snake through the room, bow, and collect their tips.
Ride over -- Johan Museeuw win Het Volk just like in 2000.

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