Friday, May 3, 2013

Taylor Phinney's thinking pink on the eve of the Giro d'Italia


Wishful thinking? And what
is with those shoes?
Maybe we got a little ahead of ourselves. We previewed the overall favourites in the Giro d'Italia, which begins Saturday. The riders featured in that entry are the cream that rises to the top. Before one of the GC riders takes control of the race, though, the sprinters and their teams will try to grab a little glory. And Taylor Phinney isn't afraid to throw his name in the hat.

Or his legs in the jeans. Phinney was the first to wear the pink leader's jersey in last year's race, after he won the short opening time trial. He has a decent turn of speed and will hope to be among the top finishers in Saturday's opening road stage, 130 km around Naples. A good performance will set him up for Sunday's team time trial, his forte.

"There's this small dream of winning the team time trial and taking the pink jersey, but there's a lot of variables that go into that," he told cyclingnews.com

Like not getting too far ahead of yourself. He'll have to fight off the likes of Mark Cavendish, Matt Goss, John Degenkolb and a bevy of Italians looking for early glory Saturday. The winner gets a 20-second time bonus. Phinney's turn of speed at the end of a stage race is improving, as evidence by his fourth-place finish in the Olympic road race, seventh at Milan-San Remo and third at the Giro della Toscana. With a good performance in the team time trial, he could hold onto the leader's jersey for a week or so.

Let's hope he embarrassed himself for something more than wishful thinking. If not, he's well on the road to becoming EuroTrash with this look. We won't even begin to discuss the shoes.