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Sometimes stars kind of align, and that's when you're able to do cool things like that. I did it last year in Poland. I guess it's sort of my style. It's really, really painful. I suffer a lot, but it's worth it at the e...

Photo: Sirotti




16.05.2014 @ 08:37 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

Even though Taylor Phinney has won only his second road race as professional at the Tour of California yesterday, there was certainly a mark of very individual style in that victory as he used his fantastic time trialing skills to hold back a furious peloton and claim a stage by a very slight margin.


Measuring it rather by the effort than actual importance of the cycling event, Phinney placed his yesterday’s victory above his successes on track or against the clock, claiming that winning on home soil always has a special taste for Americans.


"I judge this win more on how it happened and where it was than the level of the race," Phinney (BMC) said after slipping away from a reduced peloton about 26km from the finish in Santa Barbara for his first California stage win.


"I've won some time trials in the past," he said. "And winning a time trial is nice, but you don't get the same feeling as when you win a road stage. You don't have that moment where you put your hands up with a couple hundred meters to go and really soak in the energy from the crowd. You get goosebumps and you have this kind of electric shock that goes through you. You don't get that magic when you win a time trial. This is my second road stage win, and it feels as good as the first one, that's for sure."


The 23-year old American used is time trialing skills and above average body weight to take off on the stage’s final non-technical descent after best sprinters were dropped on San Marcos Pass and build a gap of 35 seconds to solo a victory in Santa Barbara.


"I wasn't planning to attack at the top," Phinney said. "If anything I was going to attack with maybe 4km or 5km to go. But I just saw where the group was, the way Cannondale was kind of isolated. Degenkolb was dropped. Cav was dropped. I just went on instinct and went for it. I know there's only one time in cycling I have an advantage, and it's when we're going downhill. I weigh a lot more than everybody else, and I was able to kind of just pull away and accelerate up to speed, then tuck and keep pulling away."


While fellow time trial specialist and world champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) is known for claiming stage victories after brave solo rides on over 100-kilometer long courses, the 23-year old American is apparently working on his very own personal style. The career’s second stage win of the BMC rider was a very exact copy of the first one claimed in the Tour de Pologne last year, when Phinney went clear under the flamme rouge and denied the roaring peloton by a slightest possible margin.


"I wasn't convinced that it was a very smart move until I got close the finish and my gap stayed pretty constant," he said. "I just never looked back and committed to it. ... I think it's a really special way to win the way I happened to do it today. Sometimes the stars kind of align, and that's when you're able to do cool things like that. I did it last year in Poland. I guess it's sort of my style. It's really, really painful. I suffer a lot, but it's worth it at the end of the day."



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