Phinney Powers to Victory in Stage 1 of Dubai Tour
Team BMC Racing's Taylor Phinney has won stage 1 of Dubai Tour 2014. Teammate Stephen Cummings finished second.
American Phinney powered to victory in a time of 12 minutes and three seconds on the 10.1-kilometer out-and-back course in downtown Dubai. That was 14 seconds faster than Cummings and 16 seconds better than Denmark's Lasse Norman Hansen (Team Garmin-Sharp-POC), who finished third.
Phinney said he asked Sport Director Max Sciandri to be one of the team's early starters among the 127 competitors in the inaugural edition of the race to help calm his nerves.
"I felt really good. I felt really strong," he said. "It was kind of a fight on the way back going into a headwind. We made the tactical decision to start earlier because most of the wind reports showed the wind going up through the day."
The past U.S. national time trial champion said he only braked twice - Once for the U-turn at the midway point and once at a U-turn near the finish. The rest of the time he spent crouched low in the time trial aero position.
Cummings said he was not too disappointed to have been beaten by his own teammate. "I tried my best, but I think Taylor did an exceptional ride," he said. "He was strong. It is a great start for this team. Everyone was strong though, not just the two of us. Like Yannick (Eijssen). He weighs about 60 kilos and he was 16th. It's incredible."
The victory was Phinney's first in a time trial since capturing the final stage of the 2012 USA Pro Challenge. Last month, the past Under 23 world time trial champion was runner-up in the Stage 5 time trial at the Tour de San Luis.
Phinney compared this winning effort to his solo victory on Stage 4 at the Tour de Pologne when he outwitted the sprinters by attacking with 7.7 km to go.
"I put out the power that I wanted to put out," he said. "It was really a lot of watts and very strong. I felt fine. It was really one of those courses where it was over before you know it."