Taylor Phinney (BMC) has confirmed to Cyclingnews that he will not ride this year's Tour de France. He will instead focus on the Worlds later this season.
The American neo-pro has had a season blighted by injury and illness and although a recent stint of racing in the US with the Amgen Tour of California and national championships saw Phinney show glimpses of his promise, he has decided to miss this year's Tour.
"I was going to do the Dauphine but I had a rough last week with a couple of all-day travel days that I wasn't expecting and then a virus that had me knocked out with a fever for another few days. Then I had the nationals and had a tough weekend there. My body is telling me I need a bit of a break and that's what the BMC staff think is good for me," Phinney told Cyclingnews.
"My next race isn't until the Tour de Wallonie which is in July so it's about cutting the season in half. I'll go back to Tuscany in the next few days and just hang out with Max Sciandri. I'll get back into the rhythm and live the life of a bike rider until the middle of July."
Phinney's absence from the Tour de France will give another BMC rider the chance to ride the Grand Tour but the American is happy to see a spot going to a more deserving rider.
"Personally I'd feel like I was taking a spot from someone who is working really hard to get there. To be honest I don't want to go there and just finish half of it and I'd rather do the whole thing.
"The team had a long list of 15 guys and I was on there but just how the season has panned out and how I've been able to respond from some other races and also having talking to older guys like Cadel [Evans], I think that has a neo-pro and with the problems I've had this year, I think it would be unwise to go to the Tour de France this year."
Phinney's plan to break the season into two sections means that his aim for phase two will revolve around the Worlds where he'll hope to qualify for the time trial and road race. As last year's U23 world time trial champion he will hope to test himself against the world's best but has also put himself forward for the road race as potential lead-out man for Tyler Farrar.
"The main focus from then on is going to be the world championships and trying to make the team," he said.