Phinney on Paris-Roubaix: ‘I think I got a little bit over-excited’
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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Phinney on Paris-Roubaix: ‘I think I got a little bit over-excited’

by VeloNation Press at 7:32 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Paris-Roubaix
Young BMC Racing Team rider leads through Arenberg, builds important experience

Taylor PhinneyParis-Roubaix is about strength and skill, but also depends a lot on experience and gauging effort. Taylor Phinney had hoped to be closer to the front than his eventual 23rd place and stated after the race that he likely didn’t pace himself correctly, burning too many matches early on.

“For me to ride through the Arenberg forest first was a dream come true but it was still quite hard,” he told VeloNation’s Ben Atkins after the finish of the Classic. “Personally I think I got a little bit over-excited about this race. I found myself in some early moves after the breakaway was caught back; good moves, but not necessarily where I needed to be. I needed to stay a bit quieter.

“But it is difficult balance to find when you should be in the wind and when you shouldn’t.”

In that light, Phinney gained vital experience for the future, and will have a better idea next year about when to sit on and when to dig in. He’s only 22 years of age and was riding the race for the second time; Tom Boonen, who shares the record of four victories with Roger De Vlaeminck, took his first edition of the race at 24, while others clocked up their wins at an older age again.

In other words, Phinney has time on his side. Still, he’s an ambitious rider and as a double winner of the Under 23 version, will want to notch up a victory sooner rather than later.

Looking at the overall performance of the BMC Racing Team, he realises that the squad had a solid day but one which was affected by bad luck. “It was all right for us,” he said. “We lost our key support guys to some mechanicals in the first half of the race and that kind of cost me when it came to the time when the race started really lighting up.”

Also affected was Thor Hushovd, who changed his bike once, punctured twice and also had a crash. That meant he wasted valuable energy on four different occasions in chasing back to the bunch, and was later found wanting. Greg Van Avermaet was best of the team in fourth.

“I think Greg did a really great job of being up there,” said Phinney, pointing out the ride his Belgian team-mate did.

Earlier on, Michael Schar attacked and chased hard to bridge up to the-then leaders, Gert Steegmans (Omega Pharma Quick Step) and Mathew Hayman (Sky Procycling). “We were always up there,” said Phinney, referring to the move. “It wasn’t the plan, but you kind of make up the plan as you go through out the race. It was good that Mickey did his attack.

“I just kind of followed when I thought I needed to follow. Everybody kind of knew that RadioShack was going to try to control it. At one point there were twelve guys up the road with two Sky and an Omega. I thought that maybe we could do something special there, but it was still pretty far from the finish.”

Phinney will likely think a lot about the race in the days ahead. He’ll wonder what might have been had he ridden differently, but the analysis will be useful in making sure he gains as much as possible from this edition of the race.

If he goes on to win Paris-Roubaix, as many feel he will, the lessons learned today and the experience picked up will play an important part in paving the way for that success. Short term frustration may well lead to long term gains.


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