Taylor Phinney Wins USA Cycling Professional Time Trial National

Taylor Phinney wins Greenville Hospital System USA Cycling Professional Time Trial National Championship

Greenville, S.C. (Sept. 18, 2010) – Taylor Phinney (Boulder, Colo./Trek-Livestrong) became only the second athlete to win a USA Cycling professional time trial championship national title on Saturday. In what was the most exciting finish in the five year history of this event, Phinney edged Levi Leipheimer (Santa Rosa, Calif./Team RadioShack) by only 14 hundredths of a second.

“This is probably one of the biggest wins of my career,” stated Phinney after the finish. “I get to wear the jersey for the next full year – my first as a pro.”

Phinney completed the 30.7-mile powerful, rolling course with a winning time of 41:02.51, just ahead of the surging Leipheimer who finished in 41:02.65. Bernard Vanulden (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda/Belmont, Calif.) grabbed the bronze in 42.14.97.

Phinney, son of 1991 pro road race national champion Davis Phinney and 1984 Olympic road race gold medalist Connie Carpenter, posted a course record opening lap time of 13.26.24; putting him a full 15 seconds ahead of Leipheimer. The 2007 Tour de France time trial stage winner, Leipheimer would not let the youngster away that easily however, closing the gap to within eight seconds heading into the final lap. Much to the crowd’s delight, shortly after Phinney finished his third and final lap of the 6.9-mile course Leipheimer came charging into the finish chute posting a nearly identical time.

“It was crazy. To be honest I didn’t think I had it when he crossed the line,” said Phinney of the victory. “When I saw him coming I was pretty sure I didn’t do enough. It was one of the longest 20 seconds of waiting in my life.”

After defeating Leipheimer in the individual time trial stage of the recent Tour of Utah, Phinney solidified himself as one of the favorites in Greenville. A two-time individual pursuit world champion and former junior time trial world champion, Phinney held off Leipheimer with his time, but he wasn’t able to eclipse four-time champion Dave Zabriskie’s (Salt Lake, Utah/Garmin-Transitions) course record of 39 minutes, 37.14 seconds set here last year. Strong winds undoubtedly played a factor with overall average times lower than that of 2009.

“No way I’m going to make an excuse,” said Leipheimer at the post-race press conference. “Taylor was the biggest competitor here and everyone knew it. Taylor is used to starting fast. My advantage is the length, the experience, the pacing; those are the things I’ve got on my side. I tried to save a little for the end but I guess it wasn’t enough.”

Jelly Belly presented by Kenda put multiple riders inside the top five with Carter Jones (Boulder, Colo./Jelly Belly p/b Kenda) finishing fourth with a 42:17.15 in his professional debut. Team RadioShack’s Matthew Busche (Las Cruces, N.M.) was fifth in 43:20.65.

USA Cycling Professional Time Trial National Championships RESULTS
Sept. 18, 2010
Greenville, S.C.

Last Name First Name Bib # Team Name Time Place
Taylor PHINNEY 2 Trek Livestrong U23 41:02.5 1
Levi LEIPHEIMER 1 Team RadioShack 41:02.7 2
Bernard VANULDEN 4 Jelly Belly Presente 42:15.0 3
Carter JONES 19 Jelly Belly Presente 42:17.2 4
Matthew BUSCHE 8 Team RadioShack 43:20.6 5
Adrian HEGYVARY 11 UnitedHealthCare pre 43:22.0 6
Benjamin KING 18 Trek Livestrong U23 43:45.2 7
David WILLIAMS 17 Bissell Pro Cycling 43:54.6 8
Paul MACH 14 Bissell Pro Cycling 43:55.1 9
Nicholas FREY 16 Jamis-Sutter Home 44:03.3 10
Jonathan MUMFORD 6 Kelly Benefit Strate 44:19.8 11
Scott ZWIZANSKI 3 Kelly Benefit Strate 44:20.7 12
Jeremy POWERS 13 Jelly Belly Presente 44:57.7 13
Scott TIETZEL 12 Mountain Khakis Fuel 45:01.5 14
Peter STETINA 15 Garmin-Transitions

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Phinney and Leipheimer will be face-off against over 85 other professionals in tomorrow’s USA Cycling Professional Road Race Championship. They will be joined by top riders such as two-time national road champion George Hincapie (Greenville, S.C./Team BMC), Ted King (Brentwood, N.H./Cervelo Test Team), Brent Bookwalter (Athens, Ga./BMC), Craig Lewis (Greenville, S.C./Team Columbia-HTC) and more.

The 110-mile course will include three short downtown circuits, four long laps over Paris Mountain, and then three finishing downtown circuits. The race begins at 1:00 p.m. in downtown Greenville and is expected to finish close to 5:00 p.m. Once the pro cyclists depart downtown on the first large lap, a 30-minute criterium will commence for U.S. Handcycling athletes, also with start/finish at S. Main and Camperdown streets.

From 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. spectators can enjoy a free Health & Wellness Expo, located along South Main Street. Greenville Hospital System, the title sponsor for the championships, will provide a hand cycling demonstration and activities with Safe Kids.

Photo courtesy: USA Cycling/Casey B. Gibson

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