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Gallery: Wind tunnel testing with Taylor Phinney

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Taylor Phinney (BMC) at the wind tunnel testing facility in Brackley

Taylor Phinney (BMC) at the wind tunnel testing facility in Brackley
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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A BMC mechanic works on a number of positions for Phinney's TT bike

A BMC mechanic works on a number of positions for Phinney's TT bike
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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All set: Phinney begins to warm up

All set: Phinney begins to warm up
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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Taylor Phinney is put through his paces in the wind tunnel

Taylor Phinney is put through his paces in the wind tunnel
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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Peiper watches on as Smart and Phinney discuss the day's aims

Peiper watches on as Smart and Phinney discuss the day's aims
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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A change in position meant that Phinney's shoulders and upper body had to shift slightly

A change in position meant that Phinney's shoulders and upper body had to shift slightly
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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Taylor Phinney (Team BMC)

Taylor Phinney (Team BMC)
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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Phinney takes time out while changes are made to his TT set up

Phinney takes time out while changes are made to his TT set up
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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Phinney takes a short break during the long day of testing

Phinney takes a short break during the long day of testing
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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Taylor Phinney (Team BMC) in full flow

Taylor Phinney (Team BMC) in full flow
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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Simon Smart has worked in Formula 1 for many years

Simon Smart has worked in Formula 1 for many years
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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Simon Smart pay close attention to Phinney's riding style

Simon Smart pay close attention to Phinney's riding style
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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Simon Smart pays close attention to Phinney's riding style

Simon Smart pays close attention to Phinney's riding style
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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Simon Smart pays close attention to Phinney's riding style

Simon Smart pays close attention to Phinney's riding style
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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One of Taylor Phinney's TT machines is put together for the test

One of Taylor Phinney's TT machines is put together for the test
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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Taylor Phinney's TT handlebar set up

Taylor Phinney's TT handlebar set up
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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Taylor Phinney's TT handlebar set up

Taylor Phinney's TT handlebar set up
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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Taylor Phinney's TT handlebar set up

Taylor Phinney's TT handlebar set up
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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Phinney will move from mechanical to electronic shifters in 2014

Phinney will move from mechanical to electronic shifters in 2014
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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The new UCI rules saw Phinney make changes to his position

The new UCI rules saw Phinney make changes to his position
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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Phinney, Peiper and Smart consult in the tunnel

Phinney, Peiper and Smart consult in the tunnel
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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Phinney watches on after a long flight from the US

Phinney watches on after a long flight from the US
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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Taylor Phinney in the wind tunnel in 2013

Taylor Phinney in the wind tunnel in 2013
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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Phinney has worked on his TT positon throughout his career

Phinney has worked on his TT positon throughout his career
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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Every second counts for the leading time trialists in the World

Every second counts for the leading time trialists in the World
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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Phinney looks to change his position due to the new UCI rules for 2014

Phinney looks to change his position due to the new UCI rules for 2014
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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Taylor Phinney in the wind tunnel in 2013

Taylor Phinney in the wind tunnel in 2013
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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American flyer: Phinney at work in the wind tunnel during the off season

American flyer: Phinney at work in the wind tunnel during the off season
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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Smart offers Phinney some advice on the position of his arms and elbows

Smart offers Phinney some advice on the position of his arms and elbows
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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A brief rest during the five hour testing day in the UK

A brief rest during the five hour testing day in the UK
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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A brief rest during the five hour testing day in the UK

A brief rest during the five hour testing day in the UK
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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Smart looks to find the best position for the BMC rider

Smart looks to find the best position for the BMC rider
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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Smart looks to find the best position for the BMC rider

Smart looks to find the best position for the BMC rider
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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Taylor Phinney's 2014 time trial bike

Taylor Phinney's 2014 time trial bike
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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Allan Peiper organised the scheduled trip to the United Kingdom

Allan Peiper organised the scheduled trip to the United Kingdom
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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The files are in the computer: All of Phinney's data is studied

The files are in the computer: All of Phinney's data is studied
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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The new UCI rules saw Phinney make changes to his position

The new UCI rules saw Phinney make changes to his position
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)
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Simon Smart runs the wind tunnel in the United Kingdom

Simon Smart runs the wind tunnel in the United Kingdom
(Image credit: Jamie Wilkins)

Click here for the gallery.

While most professional cyclists are preparing for the holidays and few well-deserved days off the bike, Taylor Phinney took the step of flying from the United States to the UK and back again, all in the space of 48 hours.

It wasn't the case of some last minute Christmas shopping with the American making the transatlantic trip in order to improve his time trial position ahead of the 2014 season.

Accompanied by BMC's performance manager, Allan Peiper, Phinney touched down at Heathrow just before Thanksgiving and was quickly whisked away to a wind tunnel testing facility for an all-day testing programme. ProCycling magazine were granted exclusive access throughout the day.

"We wanted to find a wind tunnel location that could put the whole package together and that's not easy," Peiper told us.

"We wanted someone that understands the aerodynamic values but can also translate that into positioning and then also biomechanics as those things all fit together. Each rider has different attributes that they need to work on."

The wind tunnel in Brackley is run by Simon Smart, who has worked within Formula 1 for around a decade but has also worked with professional cyclists in recent years.

"I've known Simon for a couple of years but I called him on the afternoon of the World Time Trial when Taylor was fourth because I just wanted to go back and reconfirm the position that we made for him in 2012 November in Charlotte," Peiper added.

"There are also some new rules from the UCI as of January. The first one of him is the measurement of the 80 centimetre rule and the use of mechanical shifters. Taylor has been using mechanical shifters and that’s given him a little bit of extra length until now."

"The big thing was how do we get him inside that 80 point and make up for those few centimetres and get him back onto electric shifters. Then we wanted to reconfirm the position that we made in Charlotte."

After the series of tests Phinney spent the night in London before flying home just in time for Thanksgiving with his family and Peiper believed that the experience was worth it.

"It was a success as we reconfirmed the position and it's good for him. We gained around maybe ten watts and considering we made some changes, he used electronic shifters and he's in the 80 centimetre rule. It's minimal gains but still a success and it's given Taylor more confidence."

Click here for the gallery.