After making headlines at the beginning of the Giro d’Italia for his prologue victory and his finishing straight crash in Horsens, Taylor Phinney (BMC) reached Milan looking to bookend his race with a strong showing in the concluding time trial.
Phinney knew that a solid performance in the test would buttress his chances of getting the nod to represent the United States in the individual time trial at the London 2012 Olympics, even if he acknowledged that it would be difficult to leapfrog David Zabriskie (Garmin-Barracuda) and Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma-QuickStep).
“The Milan time trial was really an important target of mine for the last couple of weeks, it was sort of the carrot I was chasing,” Phinney told Cyclingnews. “For myself to qualify as an Olympic spot, I needed to have a good result in that time trial. It wasn’t an automatic qualifier but it would have been a good way to show my abilities because you’ve got Dave Zabriskie winning races and Levi Leipheimer who’s always good.”
To Phinney’s dismay, however, his progress was stalled when his lead motorbike veered off course, and the American brought the curtain down on his Giro in 16th place in the time trial, 1:31 down on his BMC teammate Marco Pinotti.
“I wanted to have a good race in Milan but unfortunately I had a lead moto that kind of took me off course at a certain time,” Phinney said. “One could argue that we need to know the race course but after 21 days when you can only see it once and it’s a 30k course that has at least 30 turns in it, it’s a lot to ask.”