Phinney gracious in defeat after near-miss in Eneco time trial
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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Phinney gracious in defeat after near-miss in Eneco time trial

by Shane Stokes at 3:28 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Eneco Tour
 
‘Best-ever average power’ not quite enough

Taylor PhinneyFourth in the Olympic Game road race; fourth in the Olympic time trial; third on stage one of the Eneco Tour and now second in today’s time trial. Taylor Phinney’s run of near misses continued today, but the young BMC Racing Team rider showed considerable level-headedness in his response.

“It was a good time trial for me…I really wanted to win today,” he said, speaking about the course. “In the team time trial [on stage 2 – ed.] we were all very strong but unfortunately we had the crash. Today was my redemption ride.”

Phinney set off early on and clocked up a time of 20 minutes 30 seconds for the 17.4 kilometre distance. That held up when other big names came in, including Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank Tinkoff Bank), but finally Orica GreenEdge’s Svein Tuft did just enough, going five seconds faster.

“I have to be happy with what I put out there…I didn’t hold anything back so I have no regret,” said Phinney philosophically. “Tuft was stronger than I was so he is the deserving winner of the stage.”

The 22 year old American has been in superb form of late and while the validation of a win didn't happen today, his directeur sportif Max Sciandri said he got an alternative indication that he put out a top performance.

“He did a fantastic ride, very strong, with a good cadence. Everything was there. He put out his best average power ever so he couldn’t have been any better,” he said.

Phinney and team-mates Greg Van Avermaet plus former world champion Alessandro Ballan have one more chance to chase a victory tomorrow when they compete in a lumpy final stage. “We will play all our cards tomorrow,” promised Sciandri.

Had the squad not been hit by bad luck in the stage two team time trial where two riders crashed and the others had to ease right back, Phinney would have had an even bigger incentive to ride aggressively tomorrow.

He’s 21st overall, one minute and eleven seconds behind Tuft. In last Tuesday’s team time trial, he lost one minute and ten seconds…

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