Pinotti: Phinney can become the next Fabian Cancellara

A deeply impressed Marco Pinotti says that he is convinced that BMC teammate, Giro d’Italia leader and fellow time trial star Taylor Phinney could become the successor of modern cycling’s greatest ever racer against the clock. “He has it in him to become the next Fabian Cancellara,” Pinotti told Cyclingnews at the Herning start of stage two of the 2012 Giro d'Italia.

“Just look at the distance he put between himself and the rest of the top riders yesterday. If you look at the times between second and fourth they  were all grouped together, but Taylor was in a class of his own. Cancellara maybe could have done better but Taylor can only improve.”

Finishing eighth on the stage,  the four-time Italian time trial champion says his personal aim was to get “the provisional best time, but I was sure that Taylor would beat it.”

“He’s been working towards this stage for a long time now, at least the last two months, and yesterday we saw what the result of that was.” For Pinotti - who started stage two of last year’s Giro in pink, like Phinney, after the now defunct HTC-Highroad squad netted the opening team time trial -  the single quality that he most admires in Phinney as a time triallist is “his power.”

“He is heavier, he has more muscle, he has more ability to sprint out of the corners. He’s faster than me, and on flat tts, with someone so young who’s going to improve every year, he’s got it in him to become the next Cancellara.”

As for how long Phinney can hold onto the lead, Pinotti says “it’d be nice to have it all the way to Italy. But today [Sunday] and tomorrow are both sprint stages. We’re not going to be racing for him to win the sprint, so we’ll just see what happens. Day by day. What he’s done is already a big achievement.”

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