Taylor Phinney disappointed to leave Vuelta, but says worlds is priority
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Friday, September 02, 2011

Taylor Phinney disappointed to leave Vuelta, but says worlds is priority

by Shane Stokes at 2:21 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España, World Championships
 
American neo-pro at ‘breaking point’, was satisfied with early part of Spanish tour

Taylor PhinneyBMC Racing Team rider Taylor Phinney has commented on his withdrawal from the Vuelta a España midway through today’s thirteenth stage of the race, saying that his accumulated fatigue had become too much and that he had to keep the world championships in mind.

The 21 year old rider placed fifth in the Vuelta’s time trial and having won the Eneco Tour prologue, he is chasing a medal in the worlds. He said that there was a danger in going too deep into his reserves if he had persisted in the Spanish tour.

“Initially, the goal was to come here and do the first ten stages and be able to go into the time trial with relatively good legs and get a result,” he said after the finish. “We completed that and I was really satisfied with the way those first ten days went. Going into the first rest day I was thinking I could make it another week. But I really suffered the past couple of days and today was just kind of a breaking point, so to speak.

“I gave it everything I could, but now I have to look forward to getting to the world championships and not draining myself too much for that. I feel like I've gotten a real good experience out of the twelve-and-a-half stages I've done here. I'm disappointed I'm not able to continue, but I thank the staff and riders for understanding that today I couldn't do it.”

Phinney was clearly fatiguing in recent stages, as the results show, and the tough nature of today’s stage meant that once he got in trouble, it was going to be difficult for him to make it to the finish. Still, while it is disappointing not to reach Madrid, his young age and relative inexperience means that he has plenty of room for improvement in the years ahead.

Instead of beating himself up about withdrawing from the Vuelta, he’s able to take some plusses from the race. “My highlight would probably be making it through the first week. I really suffered on Stages four, five and six,” he admitted. “But I was able to push through on those stages and make it to my initial goal, which was the time trial on stage ten.

“So the fact I was able to prove to myself that I could push through and dig deep in those early stages would probably be the highlight for me.”

The young American rider has had a solid first season with the team, picking up that prologue win plus fourth place overall in the Eneco Tour, second in the prologue of the Tour de Romanie and fourth in the time trial in the Tour of Austria.

He’s admitted that he didn’t work hard enough early on in the year, but he did also suffer knee problems and missed some important races plus training as a result. Providing he handles things correctly between now and the September 21st time trial, he could battle for a medal in the race.

The important thing is to strike the right balance between training and rest, with the emphasis on the latter for now. “I'll have to talk to my coach about planning, but recovery will be key in the next week or so,” he said. “I'm really focused on making sure I'm super comfortable on the BMC timemachine TM01.

“I'm confident after my fifth place in the time trial a couple days ago. That's a good confidence booster going forward. Now I have time to rest and recover and build up to be even better than I was before this race.”

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