Skip to content

ProVéloPassion Pro-cycling Scruff-A-List

December 17, 2011

Pro-cycling fans are passionate about their favorite riders’ race day scruff, having cast nearly 1,000 votes for the 14 candidate slate and writing in 17 different hopefuls. A big warm thank you to all who voted.

On to the results, with bouquets for and comments from the top candidate and most popular write-in.

ProVéloPassion Scruff-A-List, top 5 among the candidates

The Scruff-A-List podium runs five deep, because there’s never enough scruff to admire.

Number one on the Scruff-A-List:  George Hincapie of the BMC Racing Team!

George Hincapie (Zoe-Rochelle photo, Flickr)

Gracious person that George Hincapie is, he expressed his gratitude for being included in the poll. When he heard about his first place finish on the Scruff-A-List, he said, “It’s definitely a kind gesture by cycling fans. I wasn’t expecting it. I’m grateful to everyone who voted for me and everyone else in the poll.”

George started shaving at age 15. “I was pretty young,” he said. “It was earlier than most of my friends. It didn’t really bother me. I felt like a man.”

There’s no cultivation involved for George to achieve his award-winning scruffy look. He said, “It’s all natural. There’s no cultivation. Whatever comes out, I just let it go.” And does he shave during races? “For stage races, I shave every three or four days. There’s really no routine to it. Just when I feel like I’ve started to get scruffy. When I do shave, I do it after the race,” he said.

George’s family members hold different opinions regarding his scruff. His wife Melanie likes it. “My kids don’t like it,” he said.

With respect to his goals for the upcoming season, George said, “I think my role in the BMC Racing Team has definitely changed. The team is going to look to me to captain these guys on the road. If that circumstance comes to me in one of these races, I’ll definitely take advantage of it.”

In 2012 George embarks on his 19th season in pro-cycling. What’s the secret to his long and successful career? “I’ve learned not to take anything for granted in the sport I love,” George said. “That’s probably why I’ve been able to do it so long.”

ProVéloPassion confided with George that his BMC Racing Team colleague Manuel Quinziato received many write-ins, but unfortunately not enough to win the write-in competition, and asked how we could console Manuel. “I’m going to give him trouble about this all year because I beat him,” George said, laughing. I’ve very proud of it.”

Number two on the Scruff-A-List: Fabian Cancellara!

Fabian Cancellara (Laurie Beylier photo, Flickr)

Number three on the Scruff-A-List: Thor Hushovd!

Thor Hushovd (Joozle Dymond photo)

Number four on the Scruff-A-List: Jens Voigt!

Jens Voigt (Melissa German photo)

Number five on the Scruff-A-List: Bernie Eisel!

Bernie Eisel (Joozle Dymond photo)

Please congratulate our podium on their winning scruff-tastic looks! And cheers to every pro-cyclist who rolls to the start line scruffy, especially the remaining nine candidates who are all scruffy stars.

Scruff-A-List, Most Popular Write-in

As further proof that pro-cycling fans appreciate the scruffy look, voters wrote-in seventeen guys to tout their scruff. This scruffy loyalty deserves some attention. And so ProVéloPassion presents the most popular write-in.

Most popular Scruff-A-List write-in, Sam Johnson on Team Exergy!

In addition to receiving more write-in votes than Manuel, Sam Johnson also exceeded write-ins for Mark Cavendish.

Sam Johnson (self-portrait)

Sam said he is “deeply, deeply flattered” to have won the write-in competition on the Scruff-A-List. When asked how it felt to receive more votes than Mark Cavendish, Sam replied, “To beat Mark Cavendish at anything is a huge achievement.”

His early sporting years made the question about what age he started to shave a bit more complex for Sam. “I guess I started shaving when I was 16? But because I was a swimmer, I’d been shaving my legs for years before that. I will admit that when I was 17, I tried to ‘grow a mustache.’ It was a horrible mistake, and I looked like a woolly caterpillar parked itself on my upper lip,” he said.

Does Sam rely on a certain practice to cultivate his winning scruffy look? He said, “This is a trick question, right? Cultivate my scruffy look? It’s more a lack of cultivation that leaves me looking scruffy.” Sam’s choice to sport scruff or not on race days bears no relationship to superstition. “I’m not a highly superstitious person,” he said, “so I have no qualms about shaving on race day. But honestly, I don’t really enjoy the practice of slicing all the hair (and a thin layer of skin) off my face with a razor-blade, so I don’t shave very often. Once per week? For sure once per month. Plus, you save money on razors that way.”

ProVéloPassion asked Sam how he feels when he is especially scruffy. He said, “It depends – at first I feel awesome and manly, like I should be outside performing lumberjack activities. Then the reality sets in: I can’t grow a full beard. That scruff is all I get. I keep confirming this (lack of) ability every year or so, but so far, the results have been consistent.”

Lastly, here’s what we can look forward to in 2012 for Sam. “Last year was my first as a pro. I still had satisfying personal results, but my roll on this team is not to win races. I’m just a booster on the rocket that sends our leaders into orbit. I want Team Exergy to win a stage at California, Utah, and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, and I want to be a major part of that victory.”

Numbers for top 5 candidates

Candidate % of total votes
George Hincapie 24%
Fabian Cancellara 14%
Thor Hushovd 12%
Jens Voigt 11%
Bernie Eisel 7%

This contest would not have been possible without permission granted via Flickr creative commons sharing or explicit permission to use photos. Thank you again Melissa German, Joozle Dymond, Zoe-Rochelle, and Laurie Beylier for your generosity. Special thanks to George Hincapie and Sam Johnson for their comments.

From → Pro-Cyclists

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: