Taylor Phinney (Trek-Livestrong) finished in the top ten in the sprint at the Tour of Qatar for a second consecutive day on Wednesday, showing he has the speed and sprinting skills to match some of the best in the world.
He finished seventh on stage three on Tuesday and was eighth on Wednesday in a high-speed, tailwind assisted sprint, on the Al Khor
Corniche, north of Doha.
Despite only being 19, Phinney is not afraid to fight for wheels at breakneck speed and again finished ahead of some big name sprinters. On Tuesday he had a privileged view of Tom Boonen winning the sprint but today Phinney finished three places ahead of the Belgian.
"I wanted to come out and prove that yesterday wasn't just luck, that it was me being in the right place at the right time," Phinney proudly told Cyclingnews just after the finish.
"The race was made going into the roundabout with one and a half kilometres to go and before that I really had to fight to be up front, it was really sketchy."
"I just kept the wheel and tried to sprint as hard as I could at the line. I can hold the power they go at but the peak-end power for the sprint is what I need to work on. But I'm really happy with today. It reinforces that I wasn't lucky but that I can also get some top tens here."
Trek-Livestrong punch above their weight
Phinney is riding the Tour of Qatar and then the Tour of Oman as part of his build-up to the world track championships in March.
The two six-day races are highest profile events on Trek-Livestrong's 2010 race calendar. Yet despite the riders being far younger than most of their rivals, they are punching far above their weight and are earning the respect of the big names in the peloton.
On Tuesday Briton's Alex Dowsett was part of the early break. Today Kiwi Jesse Sergent was part of the three-rider attack that went away
at the kilometre zero mark and was only swept up with 14km to go, after 132km out front. After that the rest of the team rode to set up Phinney, who got another impressive result.
"I'm really excited. We weren't expecting this at all," Phinney said.
"When they go, it's definitely difficult. But I still feel and so do the other guys. Now I just hope I can keep this form till the world track champs in March."