Taylor Phinney will look to kick start Team USA’s Worlds campaign with a winning ride in Wednesday’s Men's U23 time trial. The American will line up as a strong favourite having recently won his national time trial title. He hopes to give the US team a spring board to success for the rest of the championships.
“I’ve ridden the time trial course four times,” Phinney told Cyclingnews.
“It’s really hard, a lot harder than anyone expected except for the Australians. I think they might have been just being cruel with us. The climbs are not shallow, they’re steep and short. It’s a course where it's really easy to go too hard on the climbs and blow up and not have enough for the finish.”
“I’ll try and use my weight and power on the downhill and flatter sections of the course but the profile looks hard. It’s not going to be easy and very hard to settle into a rhythm. It'll be a real mental game.”
Phinney will be joined by Ben King and Andrew Talansky in the time trial as well as a cluster of other strong rider he affectionately calls the dream team, in the road race.
“The under 23 team is basically the Tour de l’Avenir team which I call the dream team because we get along so well and work well together. I’m excited for Wednesday but Friday is a unknown just because the course is so hard but I’ll make an assessment after lap one.”
Despite his relaxed manner, all eyes will be on Phinney as he aims to complete a hat-trick of objectives for the year: victory in the individual pursuit at the track world championships, defend his U23 Paris-Roubaix title and tomorrow’s Worlds time trial.
“There are a lot of people expecting me to win and I know have the capabilities to win the race," he said.
"It’ll come down to what happens on the day but winning the US time trial championships ahead of Levi Leipheimer was a real confident booster but there’s a lot of strong riders here. I have a good chance.”
The US team boast one of the strongest squads at the Worlds with Tyler Farrar, Dave Zabriske, Ted King, Shelley Olds and Evelyn Stevens leading the line in the elite fields.
“The atmosphere is good,” Phinney added. “We all get along well and all the guys like Zabriskie, Vande Velde and Farrar are here and we’ve got a really good group of pro guys."