Taylor Phinney set for pro debut at Tour of Oman

Talented American steps up to big league

Taylor Phinney, U23 world time trial champion

Reigning world individual pursuit champion Taylor Phinney of the United States will make his pro road cycling debut next week at the Tour of Oman, the BMC Racing Team announced Friday.


The 20-year-old son of former pro cyclist Davis Phinney and speed skater Connie Carpenter-Phinney has recovered from a knee injury and illness that kept him from competing in this week’s Tour of Qatar.

“I was upset to miss the Tour of Qatar since it is a race that suits my strengths very well,” Phinney said.

“I did not race the Tour of Oman last year, as I was building up for the UCI track world championships, so it is somewhat ironic that this year I am not able to do Qatar, but Oman instead.”

Much-heralded Phinney, who began racing at age 15, was a junior world champion in time trial and individual pursuit and finished seventh in individual pursuit at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

“This is a milestone event for him and for us,” BMC Racing Team president Jim Ochowicz said.

Phinney, the reigning US national time trial champion, could make his move in an 18.5-kilometer time trial on the penultimate day of the six-day Oman trek that begins Tuesday.

“This is his first race, but with what he has shown in the past, this time trial will be a good test for him,” said BMC Racing Team sport director John Lelangue. “He is a good competitor in races where you have to fight a little for your place and then make a sprint at the end.”


© AFP 2011