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“The Tour of Flanders has something special about it,” Phinney said. “Physically, I am more adept for Paris-Roubaix, at least right now. Flanders can become more of a specialty as I get older, leaner”

Photo: Sirotti






05.04.2014 @ 10:43 Posted by Joseph Doherty

On Sunday, Taylor Phinney (BMC) will finally make his debut in the Tour of Flanders. He rides the race with a free role but his main aim is to protect his team’s leader, Greg van Avermaet and he will have his own chance to lead the team next Sunday in Paris-Roubaix.


“It’s a bit strange it’s [my] first Tour of Flanders, but they’re all roads that we know well,” Phinney told reporters Friday. “We’re all for Greg this weekend. He deserves that, he’s been an anchor for the team, but he’s never had the full support of the team. This is his big shot this weekend.”


Phinney has once again been short on luck in the Classics this year after being ill for both Milan-Sanremo and E3. But he managed to finish in the first group across the line a week ago in Gent-Wevelgem.


“The Tour of Flanders has something special about it,” Phinney said. “Physically, I am more adept for Paris-Roubaix, at least right now. Flanders can become more of a specialty as I get older, leaner.”


Phinney was injured in 2011, not picked in 2012 and opted to miss the 2013 edition due to poor weather and a desire to preserve himself for Roubaix and this is why 2014 will be his debut.


“Any time you get to do a monument, it’s a big learning experience,” Phinney continued. “Even more than Roubaix, Flanders is all about positioning. To make those selections, you have to be in the top 20 riders. In Flanders, the group seems to split and come back together, whereas in Roubaix, it’s hard to come back together.”


Van Avermaet is delighted to finally be free of his shackles and get to lead the team in a cobbled Monument.


“It gives me a lot of confidence to have the support of the team,” Van Avermaet said. “Flanders is hard. If you hesitate for five seconds, the group is gone and you cannot chase it back. It’s not as if someone has a sign that says, ‘this is the moment, you have to go!’ I hope to do it on Sunday. It’s easy to say, but it’s hard to do.”


Phinney has vowed to give 100% for his captain before recovering for his biggest goal of the season: Roubaix.




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