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“The appeal lies in being able to represent the USA at every single race for the next 365 days,” Phinney said. “That’s the coolest part — whether in the time trial, the road race or both. That’s the dream...

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MATTHEW BUSCHE

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PETER STETINA

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TAYLOR PHINNEY

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24.05.2014 @ 12:01 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

Following his impressive performance concluded with a stage victory at the Tour of California last week, in-form Taylor Phinney stands ahead of a chance of becoming the first American to win both the road and ITT title in USA Cycling Professional Road & Time Trial National Championships held in Chattanooga, Tennessee this weekend.

 

Phinney, already renowned specialist against the clock and the only WorldTour rider in the line up for the individual time trial will be the outright favorite to take the title today, currently held by Tom Zirbel (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies), three time runner-up in this discipline.

 

“It’s definitely a goal,” the 23-year-old told VeloNews of the opportunity to sweep the weekend event. “I’m not just here to race for fun. I’m here with a couple of objectives in mind. I don’t think there’s any problem with putting that out there.”

 

“It’s a really good [time trial] course for me. It’s rolling, it has nice roads, and it’s not terribly long.”

 

The defending champion is aware of BMC rider’s supremacy, as the 23-year old American bested his compatriot by no less than 36 seconds on the 20-kilometer long course. However, Zirbel insists to be pleased with this kind of competition and claims that in the end it all comes down to a disposition on a particular day.

 

“I know that Taylor will be there,” Zirbel said. “That alone makes him the favorite given the performances he’s had over the past couple of years. But that’s fine with me. That’s what I want. I want the best guys there. It still comes down to who’s best on the day.”

 

While is seems that only a disaster could prevent Phinney from claiming the ITT national title, the road race will certainly present much tougher challenge for the 23-year old BMC rider with a hilly 165.6 kilometer-long course and stiffer competition including BMC teammate Peter Stetina, Matthew Busche (Trek Factory Racing), Ted King (Cannondale), and each of Garmin-Sharp’s six-member race contingent.

 

Thus, the young American admitted that the tactics and final outcome will strongly depend on his ability to survive the ascents and will be decided after negotiating the final climb, what strongly suggests that Phinney has just another “trademark” solo escape on his mind.

 

“The road course is the one that I’m going to suffer on,” admits the BMC rider. “But if I can make it over the last climb on the fourth lap up then it’s ‘game on.’ My main objective is that I’ve got to make it there first, and then we can decide what the strategy is going to be.”

 

Should Phinney succeed in both races, he will become the first American to hold both champions’ jerseys in the same season. However, the BMC time trial specialist admitted that wearing national outfit on every occasion for the entire year is more important to him than making history books.

 

“For me the appeal lies in being able to represent the United States of America at every single race for the next 365 days,” Phinney told VeloNews. “That’s the coolest part — whether in the time trial, the road race or both. That’s the dream.”

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