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Taylor Phinney (BMC)
BMC rider takes on Wiggins in Friday's 13.2km TT
Taylor Phinney managed to avoid a high-speed pile-up near the end of stage 4 of the Eneco Tour and so will be at his best for his clash with Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) in Friday's 13.2km time trial stage.
The BMC rider won his first road race as a professional at the Tour of Poland with a powerful later attack on stage 4, but he was well beaten by Wiggins in the final 37km time trial.
"Poland's (time trial) was a lot longer and at the end of a very long week. I like it when it's a bit shorter. I know I wasn't at my best in Poland, and I think I will be better here," Phinney predicted after stage four of the Eneco Tour ended in a sprint.
"This (time trial) is much shorter, it's only 13km, that's completely different to 38km."
Phinney will also clash with Wiggins at the world time trial championships in Tuscany in late September. He finished fourth in the 2012 Olympic time trial won by Wiggins last summer and second in the world championships time trial in Valkenburg last year.
The Tuscany time trial course is flat, fast and on largely straight roads between Montecatini Terme and Florence. Phinney knows the course well because it passes close to his Tuscan home in Quarrata. He hopes the Eneco Tour time trial will boost his confidence for he longer, harder effort in just over a months time.
"Florence is quite long 57km and there's a big difference between long and short TTs," he said.
"It's always good for the confidence if you can get solid results in a TT and perform well. I know I wasn't at my best but I hope to be better here."
Phinney praised Wiggins, despite the Briton losing time on virtually every stage of the Eneco Tour, suggesting he is targeting just the time trial and using the other stages for training.
"I think what he did in the TT in Poland was top notch Brad, him at his best," he said of the 2012 Tour de France winner.
"He's been let off the leash a bit at not having to be a GC guy all the time. Here is one of the most stressful races on the calendar because of the small roads and road furniture. There's a lot 'stuff' we try to dodge on the roads. He's been pretty laid back here, not fighting up the front too much to stay out of trouble. I think he's here pretty much for the TT and maybe Saturday's stage. He could do well there, but he's here mainly for preparation."
Phinney goes into the 13.2km time trial in ninth place overall, just 17 seconds behind race leader and 2012 overall winner Lars Boom (Belkin).