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Gran Fondo Hincapie

Former racer Lance Armstrong and Idaho’s Kristin Armstrong bump fists as they meet for the start with George Hincapie at the Gran Fondo Hincapie race Sunday in Downtown Boise.

BOISE — A series of cycling events in the last week drew thousands of athletes and fans to the Boise area — including one of the most recognizable names in the sport. Lance Armstrong, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles in 2012 amid a doping scandal, arrived in Boise on Saturday with enough time to watch some of the evening’s Twilight Criterium events ahead of his own race in the Gran Fondo Hincapie-Boise on Sunday.

Named for founder and former Armstrong teammate Georgie Hincapie, the race included 15-, 50- and 80-mile rides. The longest, the also known as the gran fondo, took cyclists past Emmett and Horseshoe Bend northwest of Boise before circling back to the starting area downtown.

Armstrong rode alongside Hincapie and Boise Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong (no relation) on the 80-mile trek. But it’s not clear when the trio of cyclists finished the race — or whether they did at all. At press time, race results showed no final time for Hincapie nor Armstrong.

The three cyclists later gathered at 10 Barrel Brewing in Downtown Boise to tape an episode of Lance Armstrong’s “The Move” podcast, a seasonal show analyzing the Tour de France. The grueling three-week French race is nearly halfway over. Lance Armstrong didn’t say much about the Boise race outside of expressing gratitude to Kristin Armstrong. On social media, he posted a video riding near Kristin.

“Hey @kstrong22, Tokyo 2020?” Lance Armstrong wrote on Instagram. “Thanks for dragging me around today at the Hincapie Fondo Boise! Folks, this woman is one of the best athletes (male or female) the world has ever known. But seriously, back to Tokyo, thoughts Kristin???”

Hincapie, who after the race said he found the course more challenging than expected, also praised Kristin Armstrong’s performance on the ride.

“Now we know why she’s won so many Olympic medals,” Hincapie said early on during the podcast taping. “You can’t go on an easy bike ride here.” Boise cyclist Kai Applequist finished first in the 80-mile race with a time of 3:43:59.12, earning him the top spot for male competitors. Katheryn Curi, of Goshen, Connecticut, took first in the women’s gran fondo with a time of 4:21:49.09.

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