Ster ZLM Toer: Phinney close second in the stars-and-stripes

BMC narrowly miss out on victory with Kung in third

Taylor Phinney has won the American time trial title on three occasions since turning professional with BMC Racing in 2011 but hadn't worn the stars-and stripes jersey since his first neo-pro season until the Ster ZLM Prologue in which he finished three seconds off LottoNL-Jumbo's Jos van Emden.

Phinney took his third national title last month on his first appearance at the US nationals since 2014 when a collision with a race moto left him with multiple injuries which he continues to recover from two years on.

"This was the first time I have raced in my national championships skinsuit," 25-year-old Phinney said of his result. "I was wearing the one I had made in 2014 but never got to wear because of my broken leg. It felt good to wear it for the first time, two years later. It could have been three seconds luckier though but it was good."

In his last three time trials, Phinney has now finished first, second and third on three different courses but hadn't ridden a race against the clock under 10km since his 2012 Giro d'Italia prologue victory.

"I think today went well. It's such a short stage I don't really remember most of it but I was having a good time. I haven't done a prologue in a long time so it was nice to get back out there and it reminded of what I am best at doing on a bicycle," he added.

With four stages to come in the UCI 2.1 Dutch stage race, Phinney added that he will take it day-by-day but is confident BMC can revisit the podium.

"We will see how the rest of the race goes. We are all looking forward to some of the hillier stages and I think Stage 4 will be where the race really unfolds," he said. "Between Stefan, myself and the rest of the guys, we have a strong team here and spirits are high as we look ahead to the rest of the week."

Coincidentally, the US national road champion Gregory Daniel (Axeon) was also second today at the Tour de Beauce behind Cycling Academy's Mihkel Räim.

Stefan Küng, Phinney's teammate who was third at four seconds to van Emden, was more optimistic regarding the remaining stages in the race.

"I am feeling good and I am looking confidently ahead to the rest of the race," said the Swiss rider who recently finished his first Giro. "This prologue got the engine running again for me and with Taylor sitting in second as well, I think we have an opportunity to do well and go for the win at this race. We will try everything to do that."

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