Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing) looked set to make 2014 his biggest year yet with victory in the Dubai Tour and the American national time trial championships, before he broke his leg during the road race and was forced to miss out on the remainder of the season, including a debut at the Tour de France.
The American will be aiming to get back to his best in 2015, in what will be his fifth year as a professional after making the step up to the WorldTour with BMC in 2011. By that time he was already a two-time world champion on the track and had beaten Levi Leipheimer to become national time trial champion for the first time.
In these two videos, inCycle speaks to Phinney about his career progression, shaking off the title of being the next Lance Armstrong, the challenges he faced physically as he continued to grow through his early years and his future aspiration in the classics and against the watch.
"Ever since my first year, I've had an idea about the type of rider I’d wanted to become," he explained. "I look at somebody like [Fabian] Cancellara, I've always idolised him ever since I got into the sport, mainly because I saw myself as a similar rider. Somebody who excelled in time trials but is also a classic one-day rider."
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The 24-year-old also re-lives his epic ride in last year’s Tirreno-Adriatico where he rode almost the entirety of the Porto Sant'Elpidio stage alone in the rain and how thoughts of his father helped him to the finish. "The penultimate stage was one of the most difficult parcours that the peloton has ever seen, people still talk about it this year as being one of the hardest stages that they've ever done," he said. "The first hour and a half of riding on my own wasn't too bad… I was quite far behind but I could still see that there was a race going on.
"Once I started to get really cold then I started getting dark and really sad. I started to think about my dad, he's had Parkinson's since 2000 and I started to think of the struggle he goes through on a daily basis… If my dad was out here and he had the chance to be perfectly healthy and in my position, he would trade me for this position in a heartbeat."