Winners of the CEO Cycling Challenge (L to R) Dan Goese (3rd place), George Hincapie, Joe Gagnon (Champion), Ted Kennedy of CEO Challenges, Tim Hockey (2nd place)
GREENVILLE, S.C. – November 10, 2008 – Joe Gagnon of Andover, Mass., CEO of Exit41, took away a first place prize from CEO Challenges’ cycling competition in Greenville last weekend, racing up the 1,978-foot Paris Mountain in just 12 minutes and 18 seconds. In a rare opportunity for six business executives who like to cycle, CEO Challenges, the world leader in sport competitions for CEOs, teamed up with George Hincapie, one of the world’s top cyclists, to create a unique CEO Cycling Challenge. The Challenge was held on Hincapie’s home turf in Greenville and included a competitive cycling challenge and an opportunity for CEOs to get a behind-the-scenes look at the business of cycling.
After a weekend of events, including training rides around Hincapie’s home on quaint country roads covered in falling leaves; a ride to his newest business venture, Pla d’Adet, (Hincapie’s future performance training village); a reception at his home; and a visit to Hincapie Sportswear, the weekend concluded with a CEO Cycling Challenge up Paris Mountain, with awards to the fastest cyclists. In second place was Tim Hockey of Mississauga, Ontario, President and CEO of TD Canada Trust, with a time of 13 minutes and six seconds. Rounding out third place was Dan Goese, President and Co-Owner of Marketing Counsel in La Jolla, Calif.
Gagnon signed up for the CEO Cycling Challenge because of the many parallels between cycling and leading a company. “Each day there is a hill to climb and the only way that you can get up a hill is by creating forward momentum,” he said. “With cycling, this means pedaling, and as a CEO it means actively driving the business strategy. In both cases the satisfaction lies in taking on the challenge and working your way to the peak while being comfortable with the uncomfortable.
After the event Gagnon concluded, “The event was an amazing combination of physical challenges with high powered executives, which made for a truly memorable experience, and riding with George put it over the top.”
Hincapie, a two-time U.S. Professional Champion and Lance Armstrong’s team member on his seven Tour de France victories, was pleased with the outcome of the event, “I thought I was just going to be riding with some CEOs,” he said, “but it turns out I made some great new friends.”
For the first time in the history of CEO Challenges, the company received 100% feedback as 'Far exceeded expectations.'
“That was one incredible weekend,” said Goese. “Everything clicked just right. Thanks to Ted for setting up such a great event, and thanks to the Hincapie family and friends for being so generous with their time. I can't believe how much time George was willing to spend with us. It was a brief encounter but an amazing experience, and I consider all the guys new, good friends.”
“The experience was way above expectation,” said participant Tom Tuggle, who participated in the CEO Cycling Challenge after winning a bid at the CAF Charity Gala and Auction. “I can’t think of many other sports where you can have an opportunity to see firsthand the differential between weekend warriors and someone at the top of the sport. The Hincapie family couldn't have been nicer or more hospitable, which is truly rare in this world of the big sport ego.”
On behalf of each registrant, a portion of the net proceeds will be donated to the Challenged Athletes Foundation, established in 1997 to support the athletic endeavors of all people with physical challenges by providing grants for training, competition and equipment needs.
To check out pictures from the event, visit our flickr site