Whatever happens in the second and third weeks of the Giro d’Italia, Taylor Phinney will remain one of the main stars of the corsa rosa. The winner of the opening time trial has been thrust into the limelight. He’s been such a great talker on Italian TV with the local language he speaks very well – and also the dialect of Veneto where he lived as a teenager – that the tifosi look for him at starts and finishes as much as they do for the Italian stars.
However, the BMC rider is more than a showman. He’s above all a champion in the making. To become the true successor of Fabian Cancellara – as expected by many experts – he has to handle the toughness of a grand tour. After experiencing three hard days in a row and finishing close to the time cut with Mark Cavendish in Porto San Elpidio on stage 6, he could take it a little bit easier on stage 9 on a flatter terrain and a shorter course.
He told Cyclingnews on the finishing line about his state of form and his feeling for the (almost) two remaining weeks of racing in his second grand tour. In 2011, Phinney also raced the Vuelta a Espana although he withdrew on stage 13.