IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Quotes from top contenders in Greenville


The Greenville Hospital System USA Cycling Professional Road and Time Trial National Championships kick off tomorrow in Greenville, S.C. A press conference was held on Friday with some of the top contenders, managers, and key partners. Check out some of the memorable quotes from the press conference here:

Ben King will ride in defense of the national title he won last year after a memorable, solo ride.
Ben King will ride in defense of the national title he won last year after a memorable, solo ride.
George Hincapie
(Five-time Olympian, 2nd-place Paris-Roubaix 2005, 15-time Tour de France veteran, three-time USA Cycling Professional R oad National Champion)
“Usually, I come into this race either coming off of a pretty serious injury or not having raced in a month. I think the fact that I raced a week ago in a hard eight-day stage race and I recovered wellvis a good indicator that I’m in good shape. As Davis (Phinney) reminded me, I am about 15 years older than anyone up here, except Matt (Updike). It’s never an easy task, but I feel like I’m ready. I feel like my teammates up here are ready as well. We’re really honored to take part in another national championship in my hometown of Greenville, which in my opinion is the best city in the world. I haven’t even looked at the start list. I tend to focus on myself and my team. I will say most of the peloton has also completed the AMGEN Tour of California, so it will be the fittest field we’ve had, for sure. That was a tough race and everybody recovers differently. I’m sure the rest of the peloton has a lot of tough racing in their legs, so I think you’ll some really exciting, tough racing.”
Taylor Phinney (2010 USA Cycling Professional Time Trial National Champion - 2008 Olympian - individual pursuit, U23 Paris-Roubaix winner, Tour de L’Avenir prologue winner)
“Last year was a very special weekend. I was able to win the time trial on Saturday and my ex-teammate, who was my teammate last year, Ben King won the road race on Sunday, so it was quite honestly one of the best weekends of my entire life. Everyone is coming into this race a little bit more fit with the help of the AMGEN Tour of California. Even though Levi is not here for the time trial tomorrow, there are guys like Tejay, guys like Zabriskie who weren’t there last year who are going to make me have to step up my game. There’s definitely a new generation in cycling in the U.S. and it’s great to be a part of it and event at the head of it. There are countless juniors, countless U23 riders who are coming up and showing very promising results and I’m just hanging on for the ride and excited to be a part of it.”
King's teammate, Taylor Phinney, will look to defend his win in the time trial.
King's teammate, Taylor Phinney, will look to defend his win in the time trial.
Ben King
(2010 USA Cycling Professional Time Trial National Champion, youngest-ever pro road race national champion)
“Last year my goal for the season was the Under 23 Road Race out in Bend, Oregon and after having won that I was pretty happy. I came here off some pretty hard stage racing in Europe, I signed a pro contract with Radio Shack and Taylor Phinney was able to win the time trial the day before and so we had plenty to celebrate; and the next day to go solo to the finish line was a little bit overwhelming to be honest. I’m also coming off the AMGEN Tour of California and thanks to the dominance of Levi Leipheimer and Chris Horner at that event, where they placed first and second, I wound up doing an awful lot of work during the race. Hopefully I’ll respond well to that. My coach said the winner this weekend will be the one who responds the best to the acute load from that race, so hopefully that is me.”
Tejay VanGarderen (2nd overall 2010 Tour of Turkey)
“With (Dave) Zabriskie and Taylor (Phinney) here, Tom Zirbel and Brent Bookwalter, (the time trial) is going to be a tough one to win. Normally my time trial strengths have come in the middle of stage races rather than a one-off thing. I’m going to give it my all and see how it goes and hope for the best. I think (the strength of this new generation) shows that all these programs, the national development program, Trek-Livestrong and Garmin, just all these programs are giving good support, good money and good opportunity to young kids, it’s really starting to pay off with a lot of good results and big talent in being able to break through on the European circuit.”
Brent Bookwalter (2nd stage one of 2010 Giro d’Italia)
“We’ll have four guys for the road race: George (Hincapie), Taylor (Phinney), Jeff Louder and myself and we all competed in the Amgen Tour of California. I think we all came out of it fit with strong legs, healthy, so we’re really excited to be back here. We’ve had plenty of success between the four of us on this course with Taylor winning the time trial, George winning the road race, Jeff Louder and myself have both been top five in the road race. I think we’re confident and looking forward to it.”
Matt Updike (2008 Paralympian)
“It’s an honor first of all to be here.This is my third year here and it’s a great town with great hosts. To be here and race on the same roads as these guys is really cool. I watch these guys on TV, just like a lot of you do. For a while at the beginning, when handcycling was being figured out, people thought we were marathoners. We’re not. We’re cyclists, not runners. It’s nice to be involved in cycling events and not marathons. It’s a great experience and we’re really looking forward to it.”
Davis Phinney (first American to win a stage of the Tour de France, Olympic bronze medalist-team time trial, father of Taylor Phinney)
“I am looking forward to seeing everyone out there, this weekend, watching some great racing both the present greats like George and the future greats like everybody else. Taylor is 20. Ben is 22. Tejay is 22. That’s what so exciting is to be able to see the greats of the sport, like George Hincapie, who is still representing the sport at the highest level as well as showing how it’s done to the younger generation. It’s pretty cool to see.”

This Article Updated May 25, 2012 @ 03:14 PM For more information contact: