Taylor Phinney targets California Time Trial
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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Taylor Phinney targets California Time Trial

by Xylon van Eyck at 2:04 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of California, Injury
US National TT Champ looking forward to testing himself against the best

Taylor PhinneyTaylor Phinney is relishing the opportunity to race the Amgen Tour of California, especially the time trail stage, as the young American is the national champion in the discipline. Phinney, whose debut season in the pro ranks has marked by two knee injuries, is now back on track and will be part of his BMC Racing Team's lineup for his home country's biggest event.

“I’ve learned a lot this year," Phinney said in the pre-race press conference.  "I’ve had a fair amount of injuries and a couple crashes.  Now I have a good base underneath me, so I’m beyond excited to race in my home country and in California.”

His big opportunity will come during the stage 6 24km time trial in Solvang. “I haven’t really had a good test in the time trial yet, so Solvang will be my first big test before Nationals. As a course, it kind of suits me.  The time trial is my biggest goal here.“

He also added, “I get to ride in my stars and stripes (jersey) during the time trial, so I couldn’t be more excited about that.”

BMC are sending a mixture of experienced riders and young ones making their debut this season. Team captain and veteran George Hincapie came close to winning the final stage last year, narrowly being beaten into second place by Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin Cervelo).

Phinney understands the importance of riding on the same team as such accomplished cyclists as Hincapie.

“We have a really strong team here with George (Hincapie) and a couple of younger guys.  To be honest, I’m really excited to race with the guys at this table – legends of the sport and the younger guys coming up," he said.  "It’s going to be a really cool race to watch.  I don’t like to say that we enjoy beating up on the older guys, but we have a few private smiles afterwards if we do better than the guys who have been dominating the sport for a while. This is definitely one of those races where you can see some of the younger guys in the top-ten overall.”

A major talking point before this years race has been weather, with possible snowfall expected in Lake Tahoe. The race organization has said it’s with paramount importance that they put the rider's safety first. “We’ve been watching the forecast and will continue to monitor the situation,” race director Jim Birrell said. “Our team will come together tomorrow night (Saturday) and will determine our action plan.  Our concern is going to be what’s on the road.  If it’s just wet, it will be all systems go.”


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