Taylor Phinney (BMC) pulled out of this year’s Vuelta on stage 13 citing fatigue. The American will now turn his attention to the Worlds, where he will hope to represent his country in the individual time trial.
The Vuelta marked Phinney’s debut grand tour and the under23 world time trial champion secured a top five place in the individual time trial.
“Initially, the goal was to come here and do the first 10 stages and be able to go into the time trial with relatively good legs and get a result. We completed that and I was really satisfied with the way the first 10 days went. Going into the first rest day I was thinking I could make it another week. But I really suffered the past couple of days and today was just kind of a breaking point, so to speak,” he said.
“I gave it everything I could, but now I have to look forward to getting to the world championships and not draining myself too much for that. I feel like I've gotten a real good experience out of the twelve-and-a-half stages I've done here. I'm disappointed I'm not able to continue, but I thank the staff and riders for understanding that today I couldn't do it.
Phinney endured a difficult start to his debut season as a professional. He suffered from injuries but by his own admission failed to focus on life as a rider and all the demands it places on an athlete. However, in the second half of the season he has raised his game, paying back some of the faith BMC had in signing him last year.
The coming weeks will all be about recovery and fine-tuning his time trial position ahead of Worlds. With two spots the US has a host of names to chose from including Dave Zabriskie, Christian Vande Velde, Levi Leipheimer, and Phinney.
“I'll have to talk to my coach about planning, but recovery will be key in the next week or so. I'm really focused on making sure I'm super comfortable on the BMC time machine TM01. I'm confident after my fifth place in the time trial a couple days ago. That's a good confidence booster going forward. Now I have time to rest and recover and build up to be even better than I was before this race,” Phinney said.