Taylor Phinney is always touted as one of the most talented young guys in the professional peloton and yes, he has some very impressive pedigree, but he succeeds in my opinion because of his mental strength and relaxed attitude, which is a rare combo in elite sport. I met Taylor in 2007 in the bathroom while we were both being drug tested after U.S. National Track Championships where we both, after only being on the track a handful of times, won the Individual Pursuit National Titles. He had big funny hair and furry boots on while donning his cycling kit and he made me laugh hysterically about numerous subjects while we both waited to have to pee. We have been connected with mutual respect for each other ever since, or I have felt connected to him:-) (maybe i should ask him if he feels the same) He now calls me Dotsie-Tron and i call him T-Money and i was stoked to catch up with him, albeit briefly, from Limberg in the Netherlands where he will compete in the World Championship Road Race on Sunday after a thrilling silver medal performance in the Time Trial last wednesday.
Dotsie-Tron: How has your prep for this course differed from your Olympic TT prep? (be specific please). Also, talk to me about the mental side of peaking for Olympics and then coming back only 7 weeks later, having needed to rest, repair, rejuvenate, race more and peak to top form again in such a short period of time.
T-Money: After the Giro ended in May I was allowed by my team, BMC, to stay at my home in Boulder and train specifically for the Olympic events. I did this by way of two separate training camps–one was purely bike riding and was originally set up by Allen Lim for Christian VandeVelde who was heading to the tour. I got to tag along in that one and then when he left I stayed in Boulder and got a bit more specific with my prep. Every week for 3 weeks I simulated a race day on the Wednesday and Saturday. Wednesday was my TT workout and Saturday my road race simulation.
This time around I am coming off of 2 week-long stage races (Eneco Tour started 4 days after the Olympic Time Trial, the USA Pro Challenge started a week after the Eneco Tour) as opposed to training. I still feel very fit, even if it did prove to be quite difficult getting back on the bike after that big block.
After winning the final time trial in Denver of the USA Pro Challenge it took me about a week to fully motivate myself to get back into the thick of things but I did it, along with my teammate Tejay Van Garderen–who was in the same boat. We got in a super solid week of training last week and are now here ready to give our all. Funnily enough, I race another stage race 4 days after the road race next Sunday and then fly to China for the Tour of Beijing. Only then do I get to relax! I can handle it though.
Dotsie-Tron: Did you have a mantra while out on the TT in london?
T-Money: My mantra at the Olympics was basically just telling myself that I was at the Olympics and that pretty much did the trick. That and the fantastic crowds!
Dotsie-Tron: What is your goal(s) for this years World Championships? (it can be anything from a result based goal to a process goal to something funny)
T-Money: Realistically I think we can win the TTT, I believe I can medal in the ITT, and the USA has a super strong team for the road race so I’m all business! None of the courses are necessarily perfect for me but aren’t bad for me either so we’ll have to see!
Dotsie-Tron: Do you mind answering a question on Evie, your roommate in Boulder? What is her greatest strength as a bike racer?
T-Money: Evie’s best strength is that she hates losing more than anyone I know. For some people that can be a hindrance but not in Evie’s case. It also helps that she is ridiculously talented and more professional with her diet/training/lifestyle than most men I race with.
Interview by Dotsie Bausch of Cyclingillustrated