In this year's Giro d'Trentini, Taylor Phinney wore a different shade of pink. With his Giro d'Italia prologue effort, it's the real deal. Photo: Bettini
Two years ago, Taylor Phinney won his second World Pursuit Championships in Denmark and today, the 21 year old figlio d'arte (Dad Davis Phinney is a two-time Tour de France stage winner, Mom Connie Carpenter-Phinney is 1984 Olympic Womans Road Race Gold medalist) rode a tremendous race to win the 8.7km prologue at the 95th Giro d'Italia. Prior to the race, Phinney was crystal-clear about his potential destiny. "I know that I can potentially change my life (Saturday). I can change my year, my career in a way and post my biggest result to date in just 10 minutes of racing. That's just extra motivation for me."
With a time of 10'26" and a fantastic average speed of 50.031km / hr, the only rider over 50km / hr, Taylor Phinney fulfilled his destiny, beating Sky speedster Geraint Thomas, who had beat him at the recent Tour de Romandie by 9". After his historic ride, making him only the third American to wear the Maglia Rosa at the Giro d'Italia, Phinney told RAI-TV in his fluent Italian "let's say I did my best today. I knew I had good legs today; it was really hard race; the Danish wind is always strong! I tried to save my energy for the last three kilometers and it worked!"
RAI-TV commentator Davide Cassani raved about Phinney's performance, saying "Phinney is a real champion, a classy young rider whowe will see more from."La Gazzetta dell Sport's Pier Bergonzi said "it was beautiful ride by Phinney; I am really glad to see this win by him because he is one of the riders who is the future of cycling." "it was a fantastic ride by the young American; he had a lot of pressure on him as one for the favorites in a Grand Tour stage at 21 years old, but he came through."
For Taylor Phinney, the Maglia Rosa is a consecration of his enormous talent. He explained to RAI-TV "I have been thinking about this race for for two months and so to win the race and wear the Maglia Rosa is a dream! I have to thank the team and my family; it's a very special moment. I'm not Italian but I live there so I feel a little bit Italian. It is a real honor for me to wear the Maglia Rosa."
When asked how long he can keep the Maglia Rosa, Phinney explained that "I'll take it day by day and hope to kept it for a while. For our team, the Team Time Trial is really important."
The race resumes on Sunday with the wind expected to play a role when the peloton tackle 206km around Herning, much of which will be along the coast.
Stage and overall
1. Taylor Phinney (USA/BMC) 10min 26sec, 2. Geraint Thomas (GBR/SKY) at 9sec, 3. Alex Rasmussen (DEN/GRM) 13, 4. Manuele Boro (ITA/SAX) 15, 5. Gustav Larsson (SWE/VAC) 22, 6. Ramunas Navardauskas (LTU/GRM) s.t., 7. Brett Lancaster (AUS/GEC) 23, 8. Marco Pinotti (ITA/BMC) 24, 9. Jesse Sergent (NZL/RSH) 26, 10. Nelson Oliveira (POR/RSH) 27, 11. Tomas Vaitkus (LTU/GEC) s.t., 12. Stef Clement (NED/RAB) 28, 13. Robert Hunter (RSA/GRM) s.t., 14.
Jack Bauer (NZL/GRM) s.t., 15. Maciej Bodnar (POL/LIQ) 29, 16. Ryder Hesjedal (CAN/GRM) s.t., 17. Michal Kwiatkowski (POL/OPQ) s.t., 18. Enrico Gasparotto (ITA/AST) s.t., 19. Dario Cataldo (ITA/OPQ) 31, 20. Giacomo Nizzolo (ITA/RSH) 32
Selected: 28. Roman Kreuziger (CZE/AST) 36, 36. Ivan Basso (ITA/LIQ) 39, 48. Joaquin Rodriguez (ESP/KAT) 43, 113. Frank Schleck (LUX/RSH) 59, 114. Jack Bobridge (AUS/GEC) 1:00, 125. Damiano Cunego (ITA/LAM) 1:03, 138. Michele Scarponi (ITA/LAM) 1:06, 162. John Gadret (FRA/ALM) 1:16
The 95th Giro d'Italia In Numbers:
* 298: highest number of Giro d'Italia starters in 1928.
* 66: Giro d'Italia Wins by Italians, 7 Belgian wins, 6 French wins, 3 Swiss wins, 3 Spanish wins, 3 Russian wins, 2 Luxemburg wins, 1 win each by Ireland, Sweden and United States; 1 team win (ATALA 1912).
* 34 years, 5 months: is the age of the oldest winner of the Giro d'Italia; Fiorenzo Magni in 1955.
* 47: Giro d'Italia stage win record, held by Mario Cipollini, ahead of Alfredo Bindawith 41 Giro stage wins.
* 10: Giro d'Italia starts outside of Italy: 1965: San Marino / 1966: Monte Carlo /
* 1973: Belgium / 1974: Vatican City / 1996: Greece / 1998: France / 2002: Netherlands / 2006: Belgium / 2010: Netherlands.
* 4,337: Giro d'Italia with most kilometers: 1954
* 2,448: Giro d'Italia with fewest kilometers: 1909
* 430: Giro d'Italia stage with most kilometers: Lucca-Roma in 1914, won by Constante Girardegno
* 77: Giro d'Italia Maglia Rosa's worn, by Eddy Merckx, followed by Alfredo Binda (59) and Francesco Moser (57).