Taylor Phinney (BMC) has missed out on selection for Sunday's Tour of Flanders but remains optimistic over his chances of starting Paris-Roubaix. The American had made the long-list for Andy Rhis's Flanders squad but missed out, with the team edging for a more experienced line-up.
"Obviously I'm disappointed not to make the team but honestly I have to be realistic. I knew that going into this year that it would be a hard selection to make, especially for Flanders. I respect the team's decision and just wish the guys all best of luck, and it's the most star-studded team at the race," Phinney told Cyclingnews from his base in Italy.
"I'm sad to miss out but I wish them good luck and I'll hopefully look forward to Paris-Roubaix which is my all-time favourite race and I'm really hoping that I get selected for sure."
Phinney raced Milan-San Remo earlier this month and Gent-Wevelgem last weekend, finishing both races. His race in Gent-Wevelgem appeared to be centered around gaining experience. He followed teammate George Hincapie throughout the morning's start procedures before helping his team with a number of domestique duties.
However, Phinney will now turn his attention to Paris-Roubaix, a race he won twice as a U23 rider before signing for BMC. Having missed the entire Classics season last year through injury he's hoping to make up for lost time by taking part in the cobbled French Classic for the first time as a professional. And with BMC making three changes from their Flanders squad before Roubaix last year, his chances remain high.
"The team and the organisation understand that Roubaix is the one Classic that suits me because being dead flat and having won the under 23 race twice. They have access to all my training files and know where I'm at physically, I feel really good, I've had three weeks of solid training which included San Remo and Gent-Wevelgem. For me I'm at a really high level of fitness. But I have to respect the team's choice and it's a tough decision. I just hope that they can see where I'm at fitness-wise because my number one priority is Paris-Roubiax."