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Paris-Roubaix remains long-term aim but this season's goals are yet to be defined.

Photo: Tim De Waele/TDW Sport


07.03.2016 @ 10:23 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

BMC’s Taylor Phinney flew well below the radar at this weekend’s Strade Bianche, finishing 76th in Siena in a huge group that also included Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep). They were 24”15’ down on winner Fabian Cancellara and, to add insult to injury, they were ruled outside the time limit.


For Phinney, Strade Bianche marked his first race in Italy since his horrible crash during the US national championships in 2014. For the rest of his beaten companions, the Strade Bianche represented little more than a warm up race ahead of the upcoming Tirreno-Adriatico and the subsequent Spring Classics.


In the wake of his accident, the American rider has become more grateful of life outside the world of cycling. While being resolute in his desire to make a successful comeback he also wants to enjoy every minute of it.


“It’s definitely different. I do not know if it is better or worse for now. I approach bike racing completely different now,” he told Cyclingnews before the day’s racing. It is stressful balancing my own expectations with any outside expectations but I am learning to manage everything. I raced in France last week, which was pretty intense and a big change from racing in US and a little bit in Britain like I did last year. But I feel good. The team has been supportive in helping me do what I need to do to comeback.”


The hilly course of the Strade Bianche leaves Phinney with little chance of ever walking away with the honours but that does not diminish his joy for the race.


The American persevered to finish the race and is ready to ride Tirreno-Adriatico this week. While Paris-Roubaix remains Phinney’s long-term objective, the rest of this season and his goals will depend entirely on how well and how quickly he responds and recovers after racing hard.


“I’m winging it at this point. I do not have any race plans for after Tirreno-Adriatico. We are taking it one step at a time and we will see what happens. Paris-Roubaix is a goal but the Classics are so intense with big, big efforts needed that it’s hard to say.”



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