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Phinney and Atapuma to lead BMC at the Tour de San Luis

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Taylor Phinney at the start

Taylor Phinney at the start (Image credit: Sirotti)
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The USA's Taylor Phinney (BMC)

The USA's Taylor Phinney (BMC) (Image credit: Mark Robinson)
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American flyer: Taylor Phinney on his way to silver in the men's time trial at the Worlds

American flyer: Taylor Phinney on his way to silver in the men's time trial at the Worlds (Image credit: Tim de Waele/
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Darwin Atapuma (Colombia) happy with his stage win in Poland

Darwin Atapuma (Colombia) happy with his stage win in Poland (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)

Taylor Phinney and Darwin Atapuma will lead the BMC team at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina (January 19-26), with the race marking Phinney's first visit to South America and Atapuma's debut in BMC colours.

Pete Stetina will also makes his debut in BMC colours at the Tour de San Luis after moving from the Garmin-Sharp team. Completing the BMC team are Dominik Nerz, Manuel Quinziato and the USA's Larry Warbasse.

The 2014 Tour de San Luis will be held on the same dates at the Tour Down Under in Australia and has attracted some of the big names in the peloton. Mark Cavendish and Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), Peter Sagan (Cannondale), Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) have all been confirmed as riding in 2014.

Phinney has spent most of the winter in the USA and did not attend the recent BMC training camp in Spain. Instead he has been training hard for his early-season debut and will target the 19.2km fifth stage time trial. He will travel to Argentina after a BMC training camp in California.

"This will be my first time in South America" said Taylor Phinney in a press release from the team.

"There is a nice time trial I will be targeting. I have never raced in January before so I am really excited to do that. It will be good for me to get an earlier start. I have been training quite hard, quite specifically for almost two months now, so I am looking forward to get back to racing."

"I don't know much about the time trial yet. Bobby Julich (of the BMC Racing Team's Sports Science Division) is looking it, so we can start doing some more focused training for the parcours. We hope to see what it looks like pretty soon. I am in a good place mentally and physically and I am excited to be together with the team in January in a training camp in California in the weeks leading to the Tour de San Luis."

The BMC team in Argentina will be managed by the directeur sportif Jackson Stewart.

"We want to go there and do well, especially since this is one of our first races of the season. There is a flat time trial that will be good for Taylor Phinney and even some of our other guys," he said.

"For the climbing stages, we'll have Darwin Atapuma, Dominik Nerz, Peter Stetina and Larry Warbasse. So I'm anxious to see how they fare in the GC hunt."

The Tour de San Luis begins on January 19 with a 164km stage from San Luis to Villa Mercedes.