Despite his horrific leg injury, resultant surgical scars and his on-going fight to regain his strength and fitness, 24-year-old Taylor Phinney has not lost his sense of humour.
Phinney regularly posts photos of his injured left leg via Twitter, and yesterday posted a message including a picture of his scarred limb, which he calls ‘Frankenleg’.
In an interview for October issue of Cycle Sport magazine, Phinney recalled the horror of his crash during the US national road championship in May.
“It definitely crossed my mind when I was lying on the ground screaming and looking up at the sky, I was like; did I just end my career right now?” Phinney told Cycle Sport.
“I don’t know what’s going on with my leg but it’s painful and I know that I broke something. Maybe I just completely screwed myself and I’m going to have to go back to college and do all these different things and live with a truckload of regret for the rest of my life.
“Two days later I was 100 per cent confident that I was going to make a comeback and be OK.”
Phinney says that the injury has led to muscle wastage on his left leg: “I call my left leg Chris Froome and my right leg André Greipel. What I really want to do is put my right leg in a cast so then it can be like Chris Froome number two and then I can be super skinny.”
Phinney’s commitment to returning to professional cycling at the top level and as soon as is sensibly possible has led him to an extensive amount of physical therapy, sometimes up to eight hours a day.
To break the monotony and to give him something away from his injury to focus on, Phinney has been taking flying lessons.
Read the full interview with Taylor Phinney in the October 2014 issue of Cycle Sport magazine, on sale from Wednesday (September 3).
Taylor Phinney's solo effort through stage six of the 2013 Tirreno-Adriatico
BMC pro Taylor Phinney posts photo of heavily scarred leg after breaking left leg in two places during US Pro
Taylor Phinney breaks left leg in two places as a result of crash during US Pro Championships