Taylor Phinney once again experienced the disappointment of a near miss at a major championships today. The American who was twice fourth at the Olympics, finished in second place in the World Championship time trial, just five seconds behind Tony Martin of Germany.
“It’s been a season of near misses for me with the Olympics and then just coming here and getting second. If you told me this morning that I’d be second, I would’ve been excited, but to lose by such a small margin… But it’s behind Tony Martin, a champion. I have to be happy with that.”
He is living up to his promise, one put on him at an early age given his parents’ story. His dad, Davis Phinney was the first US rider to win a stage at the Tour de France and mum, Connie Carpenter won gold at the 1984 Olympics.
Phinney seemed to follow easily in their footsteps. His biggest moment so far came this year at the Giro d’Italia. He won the opening time trial stage in Herning, Denmark, ahead of Geraint Thomas (Sky) and held the pink jersey for three days. Prior to turning professional for BMC Racing in 2011, he already won the individual pursuit world title and, as an Under 23 rider, the time trial World title and Paris-Roubaix twice.
A time of 58-44 minutes over 45.7km, just behind Martin, proved he is progressing nicely. It comes after a long season and fourth place in both the Olympic time trial and road race last month.
“I progressed a lot on my long time trials,” Phinney added in the post-race press conference. “I worked really hard this summer to be up there with the best in the world on the long distances. I’ve gotten even better since the Olympics, and this was not even a course that suited me. Obviously, missing big names with [Fabian] Cancellara and [Chris] Froome at home, but at the same time, only five seconds behind Tony Martin is a good result for me. I’m excited and this gives me motivation to come out next year with full guns blazing.”
“I don’t think he was thinking being off the podium again [as with the Olympics], he was thinking about winning,” BMC Racing’s general manger, Jim Ochowicz said outside the pressroom. “He came as close as possible and lost to a great champion. He’s closing the gap in the time trials, he’s the contender to reckon with in the future, they all know it.”
Ochowicz will likely field Phinney in BMC’s Tour squad next year after taking him to the Northern Classics again. Phinney said that his goal is also back at the Worlds, to win the title in Florence, close to his base in Lucca. He added, “That’s a big motivation for me this winter and next year.”