Taylor Phinney has been named Male Athlete of the Month by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) after winning the Under 23 time trial title at the world championships in Australia and bronze in the road race.
Phinney, who is still only 20, was the first American to win a medal in the Under 23 road race. He tied with Canadian Guillaume Boivin for third place only two days after winning gold in the time trial. It was the first time since 2004 that an Under 23 rider had won a medal in both events.
Phinney was nominated by his sport's National Governing Body, and the nominees were then subject to public voting. He promoted his nomination on his twitter site, encouraging his fans to support him and on the last day of voting even saying that another athlete “is making a late surge! Let's shut it down!”
Upon winning, he twitted, “Hey we did it! Saweet! Humbling.....”
Phinney won the time trial in Geelong by a scant 1.9 seconds over local favourite Luke Durbridge, covering the 31.8 km in 42:50.29. It was not his first time trial world title, as he had won the Junior world title in 2007. In the Geelong road race, Phinney moved to the front for the sprint with 500 metres to go, only to be passed by both gold medal winner Michael Matthews (Australia) and Germany's John Degenkolb.
In the battle for bronze, Canadian Boivin surged up to cross the line simultaneously with Phinney. Even a long study of the digital finish photo could not detect a time difference, and for the first time, there was a tie for a medal.
Phinney will ride for the BMC Racing Team in 2011, alongside former world champion Cadel Evans. He is expected to make his professional debut at the Tour of Qatar in February.