USA’s Taylor Phinney lived up to his billing today in Geelong, Australia, to capture the under-23 World Championships time trial.
“I had a lot of people telling me I would be a shoo-in for the win,” Phinney explained, “but I had to win or else there would have been disappointment.”
He did not disappoint. He paced himself through the first of two 15.8-kilometre circuits and even came up short by 17 seconds to Australian Luke Durbridge. He made up that time plus some to beat his rival by 1.9 seconds at the finish after 31.6 kilometres.
It was a fair test, too, as the volatile Geelong weather held at partly cloudy skies and a cool 11°C for the 41 competitors. The course was only partly damp at the start of the day when Durbridge posted a time of 42 minutes and 52 seconds.
Phinney, last off in the third of four heats, had a strong time to beat.
“I knew that he went out fast and that I had to keep my pace. In that fist lap I was trying not to be concerned, but when I got into the second lap I was giving it all I had,” said 20-year-old Phinney.
“I knew I had the best time with five kilometres to go, but I did not know how close it was. I was just giving it all I had.”
Phinney clocked a time of 42 minutes and 50 seconds at the finish. His time was three minutes and 25 seconds faster than Brit Alex Dowsett.
Dowsett was sixth fastest at the first time check, but that good news turned bad quickly. His right pedal touched the ground through the final corner before the end of the first lap.
“Could I have won a medal?” said Dowsett. “Who knows, it is what it is.”
Although he didn’t go down, Dowsett’s tyre had rolled off the rim. Instead of changing the rear wheel, he changed bikes. The problem was that his only spare was a road bike, which he had to use to complete the second lap.
He will have many more opportunities to face Phinney next season. The two are leaving Lance Armstrong’s Trek-Livestrong team and turning professional, Dowsett with Sky and Phinney with BMC Racing.
World Championships 2010: Under-23 Men Time Trial, 31.8km
1. Taylor Phinney (USA) in 42-50.29
2. Luke Durbridge (Australia) at 1.90 secs
3. Marcel Kittel (Germany) at 24.01 secs
4. Nelson Oliveira (Portugal) at 27.96 secs
5. Rohan Dennis (Australia) at 46.87 secs
6. Matteo Mammini (Italy) at 49.88 secs
7. Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands) at 1-06.55
8. Jesus Herrada Lopez (Spain) at 1-18.48
9. Andrei Krasilnikau (Belarus) at 1-35.62
10. Geoffrey Soupe (France) at 1-38.21
31. Alex Dowsett (Great Britain) at 3-25.19
Britain’s Alex Dowsett: Mechanical trouble
Taylor Phinney wins the under-23 men’s time trial