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Taylor Phinney held the lead at the Tour de l'Avenir for two days. (Tour de l'Avenir photo.)
Taylor Phinney held the lead at the Tour de l'Avenir for two days. (Tour de l'Avenir photo.)

BMC Racing Team Rider Profile: Meet Taylor Phinney

2. January 2011

Santa Rosa, California

He is considered one of the most promising professional cyclists of his generation. But for Taylor Phinney, there will be no immediate pressure to perform in his first season with the BMC Racing Team.

Impressive Credentials
Only 20 years old, Phinney already has an impressive list of palmares. He is the current world Under 23 time trial champion and current U.S. national (elite) time trial champion. He also has two elite world pursuit championships (2009, 2010) to his credit, one junior world pursuit title (2008) and one junior world time trial championship (2007). The seven-time elite national champion on the track enjoyed phenomenal success on the road in 2010, winning four stages and the overall title at Holland's Olympia's Tour, in addition to his second straight victory at Paris-Roubaix Espoirs. He also won stages of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, the SRAM Tour of the Gila and the prologue of the Tour de l'Avenir.

Results Are Secondary
But when Phinney takes to the start line for his first race with the BMC Racing Team, President Jim Ochowicz said experience –not results – are what will count most. "For Taylor, it will be about understanding how the pro peloton races and what some of the nuances are around a ProTeam," Ochowicz said. "Obviously, the rookie year for him will be a lot of new territory. We want to get him the experience he needs, but not where it's going to cost him down the road."

No Pressure
BMC Racing Team Directeur Sportif John Lelangue also stresses the 6-foot-4, 180-pound native of Boulder, Colo., will be heavily mentored during an early-season schedule that includes the Tours of Qatar and Oman, Paris-Nice and the spring Classics. "Once his classics program is over, he'll go to the Amgen Tour of California to prepare for the U.S. national championships on the road and the time trial," Lelangue said. "This season will be all about getting experience. There will be no pressure. The other guys on the team are happy to help develop him."

Promoting The Sport
Phinney said it was important for him to become a part of a well-organized American team with a stable future. With the London Olympics ahead in 2012, he hopes he can continue to raise attention in the U.S. about cycling. "I'm always trying to bring new people into the sport," Phinney said. "Whether it means people are following me in the classics or if I'm going for prologues or time trials, it's not really about highlighting one certain type of race but highlighting the sport in general. I'm looking forward to being up there with the next big generation. Hopefully I can do my part."