Johan Bruyneel wishes Taylor Phinney all the best at BMC
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Johan Bruyneel wishes Taylor Phinney all the best at BMC

by Bjorn Haake at 12:59 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Regrets that US talent won't be part of RadioShack line-up, but has other choices for 2011

Johan BruyneelThe Trek-Livestrong team is sort of the farm team for Johan Bruyneel's RadioShack squad, so the latter should have first dips on any good rider. Bruyneel would have loved to have US talent Taylor Phinney on RadioShack, but Phinney opted for the BMC team instead.

Bruyneel felt with who those were stunned by the fact that Phinney won't be going to RadioShack. "I know there are some disappointed fans that we didn't sign Taylor Phinney," the Belgian wrote on his website "I understand your disappointment, as Taylor certainly has shown that he has a very bright future ahead of him and will be an asset to any team."

It wasn't for a lack of trying on Bruyneel's part. "I met with Taylor at the Tour de l'Avenir to talk with him one-on-one." What the two talked won't be making any headlines. "Out of respect to Taylor and his new team, BMC, I won't reveal the details of that discussion."

One thing that became clear was that several factors came together when Phinney decided on his racing future. "Taylor had a very tough decision to make, and as much as I would have liked to have continued to be part of his development, I understand and respect his decision," Bruyneel wrote.

There are no hard feelings and as a fan of cycling, Bruyneel will be following the youngster's progress in 2011. "I certainly wish him the best of luck and hope that he will continue to succeed. Simply put, his success is good for cycling!"

RadioShack has other cards to play

But besides Phinney, there are other talents on the Trek-Livestrong team, such as Ben King. King surprised the seasoned professionals to take the win in the USA Pro Road Race Championships last weekend. "Look out for a special stars & stripes Team RadioShack jersey next year in the peloton!" Bruyneel wrote.

King is fast and bright. "Something else I really like about Ben is that he's been studying at a top university in the United States, called Virginia Tech." Bruyneel knows from his own experience how hard it is to combine cycling and studying.

Bruyneel is quite excited with the talent that does come through from the Trek-Livestrong squad up to RadioShack. And he gives all the credit to the U23 team's mentor, Axel Merckx. "I'd also like to briefly recognize the great work Axel Merckx has done ... in developing the future generation of professional cyclists."

Bruyneel emphasized the team's national successes. "Most U23 teams would be happy to just be competitive in elite level championships, but for Axel's boys to win both USA events this weekend is extremely impressive, to say the least."

Adding to King's road win was Phinney, by edging out Levi Leipheimer by 14 hundredths of a second in the time trial event.

"I'm not sure where Axel got his cycling knowledge from, but it must have come from a good source! Maybe his father?!?" Bruyneel added.

He is happy to bring on younger riders who can eventually take over. But Bruyneel also knows that the experienced riders are extremely important in getting the talents up to speed in the professional racing circuit. "It will be nice for some of the younger ones to have mentors in some of the more experienced pros on the team. I remember Jani [Janez Brajkovic] telling me in 2007 how much he learned from racing and rooming with Levi [Leipheimer]."


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