Dubai Tour: American Phinney wins Individual Time Trial
Taylor Phinney rode into cycling's history books on Wednesday, the American claiming the first stage on the inaugural Dubai Tour.
The BMC rider won the four-stage event's 9.9 kilometre time trial by 14 seconds from his British teammate Steve Cummings.
Denmark's 2012 Olympic omnium gold medallist Lasse Hansen was a further 16 seconds adrift in third, with German world time trial champion Tony Martin, who set off last, coming fourth.
Phinney had felt confident about his level of preparedness going into this newcomer on the professional cycling circuit after a second place in an Argentine season warm-up last month.
"I thought I was going to beat my record of watts, I reached 490. I knew I was already in good condition as I'd worked well over the winter," said the 23-year-old.
Phinney, the son of two Olympic medallists at the 1984 Games, is an early starter, the 2009 and 2010 world pursuit champion finishing on the podium in last year's neighbouring Tour of Qatar.
Thursday's second stage favouring sprinters in the peloton is a 122km run from the capital of the UAE state to Palm Jumeirah.
Taylor Phinney of BMC Racing Team has won the opening stage of the inaugural Dubai Tour - the 10km Downtown Stage - with a time of 12 minutes three seconds on Wednesday.
His BMC team mate Stephen Cummings of Great Britain finished 14 seconds behind to take second place to sweep the podium.
The American rider now wears all the leader's jerseys in this new Asian race.
In today's individual time trial, Phinney beat his team-mate, the Briton Steven Cummings, into second place, while the Danish Olympic Champion (Omnium) on Team Garmin Sharp, Lasse Norman Hansen, was third.
"If there's an event that's best for me, it's anything around 12 minutes and below. I haven't had many opportunities to ride short time trials since I've been pro - they seem to be phasing out short time trials and Prologues - so I was really happy when this course came out. It means a lot to win today. I've been thinking about this race since they came out with the race route weeks ago. I knew there would be some big names here. Specifically, Tony Martin is good in any time trial. especially on a road bike, so I'm overjoyed and relieved that I have won," said Phinney.
"I decided to go early because of the weather report. It looked like the wind was going to build up. I hope it was the same conditions for everyone, but I don't know. You want everyone to go at the same time, but it's not easy when there are 125 of you," he added.
Phinney said he was mentally and physically prepared for the Dubai Tour.
He said: "After a disappointing 2013, I've had a good off-season. I'm fresh mentally and physically but I've also been training a lot. The team has a different approach this year: all the riders have individual goals, and I'm a goal-setting-type person, so I like that. Today was a big goal for me. I'm happy with the way my Dubai Tour has started."
The BMC rider said it was a tremendous confidence booster for the rest of the competition.
"The win is a big confidence booster for me. I thought I knew what I was capable of on a course like this, but I exceeded my expectations today. I haven't won the Dubai Tour yet. There are a lot of variables in this race: wind, climbs on St 3, more wind on St 4. All I can do is take it day by day. There's some strong competition here, but BMC has a good team, we have also Steve Cummings who is strong and in a good position, so I'm excited. It's a short race but it's going to be intense. A lot of things can happen over the next couple of days, we just have to stay calm, we have a good chance," he said.
Tony Martin finished in fourth clocking 12' 25"
Lasse Norman Hansen of Garmin Sharp surges to third position clocking 12' 19".
Reigning world Road Race champion Rui Alberto Costa of Lampra Merida is off followed by reigning World Time Trial champion Tony Martin of Omega Pharma - Quick-Step.
Cancellara moves to third clocking 12' 28".
The BMC duo of Phinney and Cummings are still ahead with Malori in third 32 second behinds.
Cavendish finishes poorly.
Italian Adriano Malori of Movistar team has surged into third place clocking 12' 38" eclipsing Poland's Maciej Bodnar of Cannondale who was briefly in third.
Peter Sagan of Cannondale is also off.
Reigning Giro d'Italia champion Vincenzo Nibali of Astana Pro team is also track.
Cavendish is followed by four times world Time-Trial champion Fabian Cancellara.
British King of Sprints Mark Cavendish of Omega Pharmacy - Quick-step is off.
Kittel of Germany is 38 seconds behind Phinney who is still the leader.
Peter Velits of BMC is in the fourth finishing 37 seconds behind Phinney.
Marcel Kittel of Team Giant - Shimano took fifth place clocking 12' 41".
Taylor Phinney has set the pace in the opening 10km Individual Time Trial 'Downtown Stage' of Dubai Tour 2014 by clocking the distance in 12 minutes 3 seconds.
Steven Cummings of Great Britain lies second in the provisional standings 14 seconds off the pace followed by Russian Alexanr Porsev who was 35 seconds off the leader.
Phinney of UCI ProTeam BMC Racing Team lived up to his billing as a specialist in time trials having won the Gir d'Italia individual stage in 2012.
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