Taylor Phinney of the BMC Racing Team won his second individual time trial of the season on Sunday’s final stage of the USA Pro Challenge. Phinney averaged nearly 53 kilometers an hour on the 15.3 km flat course and stopped the clock with a time of 17 minutes and 25 seconds, 10 seconds faster than Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp). His teammate Tejay van Garderen was third, 19 seconds slower.
“It’s a dream come true to win here in Denver. I had the best day of my life yesterday in Boulder riding in the front for Tejay and struggled through this race to make it to this time trial. I knew that if I made it, I had a good shot and to win it in front of a home crowd is incredible. It was a huge goal of mine all year, I’m so happy.” said an emotional Phinney after the stage.
The 26th rider out of 96 to start, Phinney chose to race without a race radio and said that he had no specific time in mind. “I just went out there and gave it everything I had. I felt like I was going fast. I saved enough up for the last three kilometers and absolutely buried myself.”
Phinney said he had been targeting the stage all week while working in service of van Garderen, who led the race after Stages 2, 4 and 5 and finished third here a year ago. “Going for the win today was a big carrot for me that I was chasing,” the former U.S. national time trial champion said. “So it was good motivation to come here. This was my home race. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”
Though he did have to recover from an earlier crash in the week while he was working for his teammate. “I had a bit of a crash on the first day, struggled through that on stage 2 especially on stage 3, I was so close to pulling the pin and just hung in there, made it over Independence pass, descended into Aspen and just felt better and better every day after that.”
Phinney concluded, “I love working for Tejay, I’m a little bit sad for him, I know how much he wanted to win this race but he’s young and these guys are old and he’s got so much time to beat up on them in the future. It’s been an honor to work for him and it’s been an honor to come here and win in front of a home crowd.”