Taylor Phinney impressing in Tour of Oman
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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Taylor Phinney impressing in Tour of Oman

by Shane Stokes at 7:02 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Oman
Young American shows power in riding for team

Taylor PhinneyIt may be his first pro race, and it may be coming after a period of injury which has affected his preparation, but it seems that the young BMC Racing Team rider Taylor Phinney is already impressing others in the peloton with his strength.

According to Canadian rider Dominque Rollin, the 20 year old from Boulder showed his power on yesterday’s four kilometre climb. “The hill was really difficult, pretty long and had severe percentages (of steepness),” he said on his FDJ team’s website. “The American Taylor Phinney took up leading the peloton at an incredible rhythm and put everyone into the red.”

Phinney had been requested by his BMC Racing Team to blitz the climb, with the aim of splitting the bunch and causing a selection. Directeur sportif John Lelangue explained the strategy afterwards.

"Our objective was to make the race harder on the only climb of the day and to play the card of Greg Van Avermaet for GC and the stage.

"I went to see this climb last Sunday and I asked the sprinters to make a strong tempo at one kilometer from the base and during the first kilometer. Then they passed the relay to Quinziato and Burghardt. It was working well and we placed Van Avermaet, Kroon and Schär in the first group of 30 riders. A little group of 20 came back after, but the main pack never closed the gap and finish at more than 10 minutes.”

Phinney sacrificed his chances and finished in the main bunch, but the move was a success. Greg Van Avermaet finished fourth on the stage, but would most likely have been closer to the win had he not broken his wheel ten kilometres from the finish and had to chase back on.

Rollin also finished in the front group, placing eighteenth. He started today’s stage in the same position overall, thirteen seconds behind Matt Goss (HTC Highroad).

Phinney’s main goals in the race are to build form and also to learn. He will have a chance to ride for himself in Saturday’s 18.5 kilometre time trial at Al Jissah. As world under 23 time trial champion, he will be one of the riders to watch in the test.


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