Phinney won Paris-Roubaix at Under 23 level twice - in 2009 and 2010 - and has again established himself in BMC core Classics team after suffering a career threatening injury in 2014.
Phinney helped Greg Van Avermaet seal the overall classification in Tirreno-Adriatico last month before riding well in Gent-Wevelgem last week. He will form part on the squad around Van Avermaet in the Tour of Flanders on Sunday, but Hincapie expects the 25-year-old to come into his own on the pave in Paris-Roubaix a week later.
“If there’s any American rider who can take up the reigns after me then it’s Phinney,” Hincapie told Cyclingnews.
“He’s incredibly powerful rider and he has everything that it takes. He’s a great bike handler and can position himself well. If he’s fully recovered from his injury, and he looked great in Gent Wevelgem working for Greg, I think he’ll get better this week and I think he can be a contender in Roubaix. With the week he’s had, he can be a winner in he future.”
As for the Tour of Flanders, Hincapie sees a cluster of riders capable of winning, rather than one stand-out contender.
“There are many players in the mix for Sunday. If you’ve been watching the races leading up to this, Edvald Boasson Hagen has been having a great year. He’ll be right up there. Then you have Sagan and Cancellara, and Greg Van Avermaet has has been having the year of his life. Boonen has had a rough start to the year but he’s looking better every day too."