Pulling on the Giro d'Italia's maglia rosa is a prestigious moment in any rider's career and Taylor Phinney believes that if he succeeds in wining the race's opening time trial on Saturday, his life will change forever.
The BMC rider lines up as one of the favourites to win the race's 8.7km time trial in Denmark, with a pancake flat course ideally suited to his style of riding. However, with a number of strong rivals, the American is well aware of how difficult the test will be.
"I know that I can potentially change my life on Saturday. I can change my year, my career in a way and post my biggest result to date in just 10 minutes of racing. That's just extra motivation for me," Phinney told Cyclingnews.
"I'm looking forward to this time trial. It's been a huge goal of mine for the whole year. I'm in a really good place to tackle it and I really want to win it.
"There are going to be some guys there that will put up strong opposition: [Alex] Rasmussen being from Denmark and being a prologue specialist; I know [Geraint] Thomas is coming off of a win in Romandie and rolling on some good track from; I've also seen that Daniele Bennati is also keen on it. But I'm super excited for my first Giro."
Phinney believes that his fitness and mentality to race have never been better but the opening time trial only marks part of the American's mission. The main goal is for Phinney to complete his first Grand Tour. Last year he survived part of the Vuelta a Espana before retiring but eight months on from his three-week debut, completion is the task.
"The biggest goal for the Giro is to try and finish it and tough it out for three weeks, but I just know I can win this first time trial. I'm going to give it everything that I have.
"Pulling the pink jersey on would be the biggest result of my career. For me the Giro is almost on par with the Tour de France. Obviously the Tour is the biggest race in the world, but the Giro is in the same scope as Paris-Roubaix for me when I'm thinking about the biggest races. I've been going to sleep every night dreaming of the pink jersey."
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