Live-Thread-jack (which will be the order of the week)
Native Coloradan Taylor Phinney brought a phase of his life full-circle today with a stage victory in Steamboat Springs to open the 2015 USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Phinney rocketed away from the sprint bunch with 200 meters to go, showing the devastating power he wondered whether he could regain again during a 14-month odyssey away from racing after a horror crash last summer, to win the sprint from a reduced field by a full second, over Kiel Reijnen of UHC and Phinney's BMC teammate Brent Bookwalter.
The race represents an incredible turn of events for one of America's most important cyclists. A larger-than-life character as well as the son of two great cyclists from the 1980s, Phinney also represents the country's best hope in the spring classics, and has shown a heart-on-his-sleeve style of racing that has won him a lot of fans as well as some impressive results. His absence from the peloton left American hopes empty all spring -- only Tyler Farrar of MTN-Qhubeka and the UHC squad even started Paris-Roubaix -- and Phinney himself was cautious about predicting whether he'd make it all the way back to form from his broken leg. But he resumed racing at the Tour of Utah two weeks ago and immediately threatened to steal a stage win. Today, his audacity met with ideal conditions, and the Boulderite did the rest.
UHC deserve credit for burning a lot of matches in pursuit of the day's most important breakaway, consisting of BMC's Rohan Dennis and Omptum-Kelly Benefits' Guillaume Boivin, and still managed to launch Reijnen for second place. Reijnen, a Seattle-area native, remains hot after an excellent performance in Utah where he won the opening stage and held the overall lead for three days. But his prospects for a similar run are probably done now, with the racing heading uphill, a lot, tomorrow. Results:
- PHINNEY Taylor BMC
- REIJNEN Kiel UHC
- BOOKWALTER Brent BMC
- ANDERSON Ryan OPM
- MANNION Gavin JBC
- OWEN Logan BDT
- ARREDONDO MORENO Julian David TFR
- ROVNY Ivan TCS
- SKUJINS Toms HSD
- CARUSO Damiano BMC
Steamboat Springs Circuit 156 km
Another one of many "America's greatest stage race", now the one that is most definitely absolutely not in any way a tour of Colorado.
Dr Quinn, Medicine woman of the Day: Kiel Reijnen
Can he keep his Utah run going? Can he beat all these US riders that I don't know who they are?