Phinney to return in Catalunya, still hopeful for Roubaix and Flanders
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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Phinney to return in Catalunya, still hopeful for Roubaix and Flanders

by Shane Stokes at 8:34 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Paris-Roubaix, Volta a Catalunya, Tour of Flanders, Injury
 
Gifted 20 year old fully recovered after last month’s training crash

Taylor PhinneyRising US talent Taylor Phinney has recovered from the concussion he suffered in a training crash on February 25th and will shortly return to racing. The BMC Racing Team rider will be back in action on Monday week (March 21st) when he lines out in the seven-day Volta a Catalunya.

"I am very excited and anxious to get racing again,” he stated, describing to his season start as a ‘rocky one,’ due to knee problems and then his crash. “I have been training well and building not only base in the legs, but my confidence as well. Catalunya is necessary for me if I wish to fulfil my Classics ambitions this year and I am hoping it will give me the boost I need after the setbacks I have endured these past months.”

Phinney is a double winner of the Under 23 Paris-Roubaix and clearly has an aptitude for one day races of that nature. He’s strong and also technically skilled, and so riding on the cobble is something which seems to come naturally to him.

Although he is a first year pro, that background means that the team would like to give him a start in Flanders and Roubaix, if possible. His selection for those events will depend on how his form progresses in the weeks beforehand.

Right now, he needs to catch up. He’s only competed in the Tour of Oman this year and so he’s short of racing mileage. “He was disturbed a bit in training camp due to some problems with his knee, so he needs good volume and good intensity,” said directeur sportif John Lelangue. “There are some really hard stages in Catalunya where he'll be suffering, but this is the best way to get volume for one full week. Then we can re-evaluate if he can go to the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.”

Of course, his safety is of primary importance and so the team was careful not to put him back into action too soon. He has been cleared to return by BMC Racing Team chief medical officer Dr Max Testa, who has ensured that he’s fully ready.

Team president Jim Ochowicz is looking forward to his return. “Taylor got his program started a bit at the Tour of Oman but was sidetracked when he crashed. We're real excited that he's healthy and ready to start racing soon.”

Phinney is part of a new generation of young riders who seem fully capable of taking up the torch. His superb 2010 season saw him repeat his win at Roubaix, win the world Under 23 time trial title and take the US time trial championship by beating Levi Leipheimer by fourteen hundredths of a second.

He also defended his world championship individual pursuit title, and landed various other victories including the Olympias Tour, two stages in the Tour of Utah, and one each in the Tour de l’Avenir, the Tour of the Gila and the Triptyque de Monts et Chateaux.

The BMC Racing Team pulled off a major coup when it signed him on a multi-year contract. He had been expected to go to Team RadioShack but instead opted for the team of 2009 world champion Cadel Evans and George Hincapie.

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