Taylor Phinney (BMC) came to the Dubai Tour focused on winning the opening time trial and setting up a shot at overall success. Phinney put out a huge 490 watts for 12 minutes, touching speeds of 60km early on the course, with the help of a tail wind, as he raced towards victory on Wednesday.
After winning the 9.9km time trial in downtown Dubai, pulling on the first ever race leader's blue jersey and distancing his main rivals by at least 20 seconds, he was rightly satisfied with his day.
"I really, really, wanted to win. It's been a couple of months that I've been thinking about this race, ever since the course was released online," he told Cyclingnews.
"I know I had a good chance to win and I knew I had stiff competition, some of the best guys in the world at this distance are here. I was super, super nervous in the final couple of minutes as I watched Tony [Martin] but so relieved and so happy when I found out I'd won"
Phinney leads teammate Steve Cummings by 14 seconds, with Lasse Norman Hansen (Garmin-Sharp) third overall at 16 seconds. Phinney can fight for the three-two-one bonus seconds on offer at stage finishes and the one second bonuses offered at two intermediate sprints on each stage.
He is slightly worried about possible crosswinds and the dangers of attacks in echelons but knows that BMC has selected a team for this four-day race that would be ready to ride for him.
"I'll have to look at [the results] more in detail and see where the sprinters are. You never know with sprint finishes and bonus seconds. It'll be windy and you can gain or lose a lot in the wind. But we'll be up there at the front controlling the race and we'll take it one day at a time," he said.
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