Phinney Sprints to Victory in Stage 1 of USA Pro Challenge 2015
Team BMC Racing's Taylor Phinney takes first victory since comeback
BMC Racing Team's Taylor Phinney dazzled and pleased his home state crowd Monday by sprinting to victory in the opening stage of the 2015 USA Pro Cycling Challenge.
Competing for only the eighth time since recently returning from a potentially career-ending crash, which took place in May of 2014, Phinney fought back after losing contact with the peloton on the final climb of the 155.5-kilometer stage that started and ended in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
"I actually got dropped but made it back," Phinney said. "It was kind of what I like to call "a Davis Phinney special," where you get dropped and then come back and win," he said, referring to his father, Davis Phinney, the most winning cyclist in USA history and multi-time Tour de France stage winner.
"I knew I don't have the pop to beat some of the best bunch sprinters in the peloton," Phinney explained to Roadcycling.com. "So I just thought I would "diesel-style it" by going early."
"I didn't think I was going to be able to win until maybe 100 meters to go and then I had a slight moment of panic because I thought I was going to lose it. But I managed to put my head down and focus on the task at hand. I spent a lot of time and a lot of energy pushing through those last eight or nine seconds. I have had 15 months to think about putting my hands up in the air. It was everything that I thought it would be."
Kiel Riejnan of UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling finished second, and Phinney's teammate Brent Bookwalter finished third in today's stage.
Heading into the final 15 kilometers, it looked like a breakaway duo would be contesting the stage victory. BMC Racing Team's Tour de France stage winner and past world hour record holder Rohan Dennis broke away with Canadian national road champion Guillaume Boivin of Team Optum presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies. The pair led by as much as 25 seconds with five kilometers to go, but Boivin, who had been in the day's breakaway, refused to share the workload and the two were caught with a kilometer to go, thereby setting the stage for Phinney's triumph.
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