Why doesn’t Taylor Phinney want to become a Grand Tour contender?

American time trial specialist Taylor Phinney does not foresee a future when he will contest the upper echelons of Grand Tour general classifications because of his love for food.

BMC’s Taylor Phinney has dismissed any chance of him emulating Tom Dumoulin in becoming a pure-time-trialist-cum-GC-contender – because he loves food too much.

The 25-year-old is racing this week’s Aviva Tour of Britain in preparation for the World Championships in his native United States later this month.

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Phinney is expected to rival Vuelta a España sensation Dumoulin in the time-trial event in Richmond, but he was quick to dispel any possibility of him becoming a mountain challenger to the Dutch Giant-Alpecin rider.

“You can always lose as much weight as you’re comfortable with to become more of a climber but there’s a lot of sacrifice involved with that and lots of not eating and I really like to eat,” Phinney told Cycling Weekly.

“I feel like eating is the primary basis of happiness so I’m clearly not really comfortable giving that up yet.

“I like being skinny not to suffer too much but to be one of the top guys and climb with guys who are this tall [measuring out a small frame], that’s a hard ask.”

But what food isn’t he prepared to drop from his shopping list? “All of it!” he laughed. “I like breakfast a lot. And chicken and waffles. That’s a Southern US speciality.”

Taylor Phinney, Tour of Britain 2015 team presentation

Taylor Phinney, Tour of Britain 2015 team presentation

Phinney only returned to racing at last month’s Tour of Utah after a 14-month lay-off because of his broken leg sustained during a crash at the 2014 US National Championships.

The 2010 U23 World Championship Time Trial winner is in optimistic mood ahead of the Worlds.

“I feel super-strong. I haven’t done an hour long time trial in a while but not a lot of people do hour long time trials anyway,” he said.

“The Olympics is always the biggest thing for me and it will be next year.

“Beyond that, there’s only so many huge objectives in cycling: Tour de France, some Classics for me and some time trials here and there.”

Today’s stage of the Tour of Britain took the peloton south from Edinburgh towards the Northumberland port of Blyth, meaning the riders were only in Scotland for less than 24 hours.

For Phinney – who was given a 50cl bottle of whisky by a young fan before the stage’s start – such a short duration did not fulfil his appetite for lochs and mountains.

“I would love to be here for longer. I’d love to hang out for a while but I can always come back,” he added.

“It’s taken me a while to get here but the Tour of Britain has brought me here.

“When I was a kid I always wanted to go to Scotland and my parents, for summer vacation, always wanted to go to the beach. But Scotland is something I’m sort of obsessed about, [always] looking at photos at it.”