Earliest-ever season start for Phinney, who will target time trial in Tour de San Luis
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Friday, December 20, 2013

Earliest-ever season start for Phinney, who will target time trial in Tour de San Luis

by VeloNation Press at 12:35 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Atapuma and Stetina amongst the overall contenders for BMC Racing Team

Taylor PhinneyThe 2012 world championship runner-up Taylor Phinney will get his racing underway earlier than ever in 2014, with the BMC Racing Team rider confirming today that he will compete in the Tour de San Luis next month.

The American has shown his promise in the past, with results such as a Giro d’Italia TT stage win plus two victories in the under 23 Paris-Roubaix hinting at what could be a very bright future.

Phinney has been working hard in training and is looking forward to the race, which begins one month from now on January 20th.

“I have been to Mexico, but never to South America. From what I have heard, the Tour de San Luis is a pretty awesome race and I am excited to get down there,” he said. “I have heard the crowds there are incredible and the place in general is a really special place. So I'm excited to get down there. There is a nice time trial I will be targeting.”

The Tour de San Luis begins with a 164 kilometre stage running from San Luis to Villa Mercedes. This will be followed by finishes in Mirador del Potrero, Juana Koslay and the Altor del Amago, a 19.2 kilometre time trial in San Luis, plus two further road race stages to Merlo/Mirador del Sol and Terrazas del PorteZuelo.

In all there will be 1,030.8 kilometres of racing, including three summit finishes.

Phinney had a very strong 2012, netting stages in both the Giro d’Italia and the USA Pro Challenge in 2012, and also taking second in the world time trial championships and fourth in both the Olympic road race and time trial.

His 2013 season was a quieter one, although he won stage four of the Tour de Pologne and was third overall in both the Tour of Qatar and the Giro di Toscana.

He is hoping that a strong year is ahead and races such as Paris-Roubaix and the world time trial championships will be two key targets.

“I have never raced in January before so I am really excited to do that. It will be good for me to get an earlier start,” he said. “I have been training quite hard, quite specifically for almost two months now, so I am looking forward to get back to racing.

“I don't know much about the time trial yet. Bobby Julich [the BMC Racing Team's Sports Science Division] is looking it, so we can start doing some more focused training for the parcours. We hope to see what it looks like pretty soon. I am in a good place mentally and physically and I am excited to be together with the team in January in a training camp in California in the weeks leading to the Tour de San Luis.”

New signing Darwin Atapuma will be another leader on the team, and the Colombian’s climbing strengths will position him as one of the team’s likely GC contenders. Also in the lineup are the Americans Peter Stetina and Larry Warbasse, the Italian Manuel Quinziato and German rider Dominik Nerz.

BMC Racing team directeur sportif Jackson Stewart knows Argentina well as his mother lived there for eight years. He explains the team’s goals. “We want to go there and do well, especially since this is one of our first races of the season. There is a flat time trial that will be good for Taylor Phinney and even some of our other guys,” he said.

“For the climbing stages, we'll have Darwin Atapuma, Dominik Nerz, Peter Stetina and Larry Warbasse. So I'm anxious to see how they fare in the GC hunt.”

A total of twelve WorldTour teams will compete in the event, namely AG2R-La Mondiale (France), Astana Pro Team (Kazakhstan), BMC Racing Team (USA), Cannondale Pro Cycling (Italy), Garmin - Sharp (USA), Katusha (Russia), Lampre-Merida (Italy), Lotto-Belisol (Belgium), Movistar Team (Spain), Omega Pharma-Quick Step (Belgium), Orica Greenedge (Australia) and Trek Factory Racing (USA).


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