Following yesterday’s mention that Fabian Cancellara is hesitating between Team BMC and Team Luxembourg, BMC have announced the signing of wunderkind Taylor Phinney. The American rider doesn’t need an introduction these days, he’s proved a phenomenon on the track and road alike, winning kilo races and U-23 Paris-Roubaix alike.
In time we’ll see if he becomes the rider to give Mark Cavendish nightmares or if he evolves towards a rider like Cancellara. It’s also possible he makes progress in the high mountains but I presume this is less likely.
Phinney was once on the Garmin U-23 program but was pinched by the rival Trek-Livestrong youth team, much to the frustration of Jonathan Vaughters. But Phinney owes no loyalty to Armstrong and his entourage, the apparent worries over the future of the Radioshack team have led him to sign with Team BMC. I suspect his move was encouraged by an alluring salary too.
As with Cancellara, the arrival of Phinney allows BMC to market their bikes in the US. The company needs wins at the highest level to rival Pinarello, Cervélo and other high-end brands that rely on association with pro racing at the highest level.
Handle with care
Hopefully Phinney can be nurtured carefully. He’s been a stagiaire this year but this hasn’t quite worked, a crash in the Tour of Denmark for example. We’ll see how he does with BMC, they are not the biggest team and hopefully he won’t be drafted into races simply to make up the numbers when team mates get injured or sick.
The 2010 vintage
Phinney might grab headlines for his talent but there are plenty of other US riders who have got results this year that suggests they can deliver more in years to come. Andrew Talansky has signed for Garmin-Transitions and the US rider has proved a powerful climber and stage racer. Radioshack’s Matthew Busche continues his meteoric rise, from amateur in 2009 to some strong rides this year. And the new US champion is an espoir, Ben King. There are plenty more.