Taylor Phinney has confirmed he has received an offer from BMC and the new Luxembourg team to turn professional in 2011 but insists he has not ruled out other offers as he considers his options.
Phinney was widely expected to turn professional with Lance Armstrong's RadioShack team after riding for the Trek-Livestrong team since 2009 and as a stagiaire with RadioShack at the Tour of Denmark. However, his apprenticeship with the team ended prematurely due to a knee injury and he is hesitant to sign with the team because the RadioShack sponsorship is expected to end in 2011.
"There are a lot of rumours going around at the moment but all I can say is that no decision about who I'll ride for next season has been made yet," Phinney told Cyclingnews from Lucca , Italy.
Phinney is individual pursuit world champion, won this year's Under 23 Paris-Roubaix and has already shown he can be competitive in sprints against older professionals at the Tour of Qatar. With such wide ranging talents he is considered one of the rising stars of the future.
Still only 20 years old, he is wisely hoping to build a successful and long career as a professional rider.
"The most important thing is the longevity of my career and the problem with joining RadioShack is that their sponsorship only runs for another year," Phinney said.
"BMC is interested, which is nice, but there has been a lot of interest from other teams too, including the new Luxembourg team the Schlecks will ride for and who will use Trek bikes. To be honest, it has been very flattering to get so much interest. Things are still evolving and there is new information emerging all the time. I wish I knew who I'll be riding for next year too but it's a slow, ongoing process."
Phinney is currently looking for a house in Lucca to create a more permanent European base for the 2011 season. The US national team has a base near the Tuscan town and Phinney has already spent long spells there this season with fellow American Tejay Van Garderen.
His next race will be the Tour de l'Avenir stage race with the Under 23 USA team and then he will return to the US to ride the national championships before the world championships in Australia .
"The l'Avenir begins on Sunday. There's a good 7km prologue time trial and then two rolling stages that could be good for me. We've also got a really strong team, I'm looking forward to it," he told Cyclingnews.
"After that I'll head back to the USA for the nationals. The road race is probably a little too close to the world championships, there's only about 10 days between them, but the TT is definitely a goal. Then both the time trial and the road race will be big goals at the world championships because both courses suit me."
By the time Phinney lines up for the Under 23 road race in Geelong on October 1, he will almost certainly know which professional team he will ride for in 2011.
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