Taylor Phinney of BMC Racing Team has become quite an inspiration in Scotland and even got a mini whiskey bottle from one of his fans in Edinburgh before the stage 4 of the Tour of Britain. With the Tour, he fulfilled his dream of visiting Scotland. Like many others, the American rider is using the Tour of Britain as a warm up for the upcoming World Championships that will be held in his home country.
Phinney could not participate in the previous season’s World Championships due to a leg injury and missed having a role to play in the team’s victory of the Gold, but this time, he is making sure he will be a part of the Richmond Championships. He is part of both, the time trial and as well as the road race teams.
When asked about his feelings regarding the upcoming Championships, he said “It would be sweet” because a time trial in his home country would always be special to him. Moreover, he has specialized in team time trial for a long time and is going to be a key opener for the team’s lineup. He looked concerned about not having done a time trial for over an hour while practicing, but soon reminded himself “not a lot of people” do that anyway.
As far as his team is concerned, the BMC Racing Team has always had a reputation for good performance at team time trials, with a record of Grand Tour victories at the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana. Tejay van Garderen has suffered a collarbone injury and that is a major loss for the team, but with Phinney and other skilled riders on the team, BMC has a lot of hope without much to worry about.
Phinney called the absence of Garderen “a bit of a hindrance” but he is confident about the competency of the rest of the team members. However, he misses his team trial partner as it is now going to be a long time the duo has not raced together following Phinney’s own accident in 2014 and now, Tejay’s injury.
The US team is at a little disadvantage with just six riders in the team as compared to the usual nine rider teams the rival teams like Belgium, Britain and Italy are prepared with. Phinney will be leading the US team along with Tyler Farrar of MTN Qhubeka. The other members include Brent Bookwalter of BMC Racing Team and Alex Howes and Ben King of Cannondale Garmin.
Phinney is still positive about the apparent disadvantage and says that it is the teamwork that the team is capable of that matters and not the number of team members. He gave the example of the Italian team that has a lot of members but no coordination among them.
As of now, Phinney is making full use of the Tour as many other riders do with the one week Tour. He said that he is “here mostly for preparation at the Worlds” and is going easy on himself to save his aggression and strength for the World Championships.