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“Realistically, I am looking towards the tour of California in May and that is my big goal and to be training fit, not race fit by the end of March. I will miss the classics. It will be almost an entire year removed, it’s a long...

Photo: ©Tim De Waele/TDW Sport


12.01.2015 @ 19:56 Posted by Joseph Doherty

The road to recovery from a horrific leg break at last year’s US Road Race has been a long one for Taylor Phinney. He spoke to Cycling Weekly about the injury that has ruled him out from his beloved Classics, just as he was beginning to make real progress at them in 2014.


“It’s going pretty well. I still have a couple of degrees of range of motion that I am not really sure if I will ever get back. It [the accident] chipped off a chunk of my patella so my tendon is shorter than it was before, which I try not to be too OCD about.”


“It’s a long process. At the beginning it was one of those processes where doctors tell you that it’s going to be shorter than it actually is, or maybe that’s what I heard, or the way I interpreted it. It’s like seven months now and it should be a couple more months of general strengthening and making sure I am pain free.”


Phinney was hopeful he could return at the Dubai Tour, which he won last year, before riding the classics, Tour de France and Worlds. Now he has slated the Tour of California as a possible return date.


“Realistically, I am looking towards the tour of California in May and that is my big goal and to be training fit, not race fit by the end of March. I will miss the classics, but I did a number on myself. It will be almost an entire year removed, it’s a long time.”


Phinney has of course thought about the question many people are asking: can he return to his pre-crash level, where he was on the verge of winning big time trials and Classsics.


“I think there is always that concern, but it wouldn’t be for lack of effort. I’ve put everything into coming back and doing it healthily and sustainably, to the point where I can have a life with an operating limb after my cycling career.”


“Having to face that at the age of 24, when it’s ‘normal’ unless you are like Jens Voigt, to think about what you are going to do after your cycling career in your mid-thirties… I think it is healthy. I think everyone should have a second plan, but at the same time it can take its toll. But, they say I am ahead of schedule, recovering in a really great way, in a way that I wouldn’t be able to recover if I were much older. Youth is a cool thing. I guess I will understand that in a couple years if I don’t understand it already. I definitely did a lot of things to myself, but I’ve gained a lot over the process as well.”


Phinney still has three major events in his sights, his delayed Tour de France debut, his home worlds in Richmond, Virginia and the 2016 Rio Olympics, where he has a chance in both the time trial and road race.


“Being in September, Richmond is sure on the radar, but I would like to still make my Tour de France debut. But like I said, I can’t get too carried away about thinking what I am going to do and not do.”


“The Olympics mean a lot to me and are always on my radar. From the day after the time trial in London, Rio has been on the radar.”




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