Taylor Phinney received an all-clear in the small hours today to continue racing in the pink jersey at the Giro d’Italia. BMC Racing’s leader crashed with Mark Cavendish (Sky) at the end of stage three in Horsens, Denmark.
Team doctor, Dario Spinelli said in a press release: “We’ll take another look at his ankle later today and see how it’s healing.”
Phinney crossed the line in an ambulance yesterday after crashing in the final kilometre. Geraint Thomas (Sky), who trails in second place by nine seconds, was in line to take the pink jersey. However, Union Cycliste Internationale rules allow Phinney to keep his lead because the incident occurred in the final three kilometres.
The 21-year-old hobbled back to the podium and then over to speak with the press.
“As we were driving away, they had put ice on [my ankle],” Phinney explained. “I was thinking, people at home might be thinking that something bad might’ve happened. I was thinking about my dad and sister, that they were watching. I wanted to come back and let them know I was okay. I am just a little bit banged up.”
The American has already won over Italian and Danish tifosi with his charisma. He’s always free and relaxed to talk, speaking in both Italian and English.
He learned Italian as a teenager when he lived in Veneto, near Bassano del Grappa. His father, Davis Phinney, was the first USA rider to win a stage at the Tour de France and mother, Connie, won gold at the 1984 Olympics. They based themselves, and their son, in Italy to organise bicycle Tours.
Phinney won the under-23 Paris-Roubaix twice, the under-23 time trial and the individual pursuit world titles twice. In the last few years, he’s lived in Tuscany. This year, he’s based in Quarrata, the same sleepy town where Thomas and Cavendish attended the British Academy.
He and the other Giro d’Italia cyclists flew from Denmark on a chartered flight to Verona last night. The others went to their hotels, but Phinney passed the evening in the hospital. He updated his Twitter account while waiting for the X-rays to give him the go-ahead to race.
Spinelli added: “It’s definitely good that this happened before a rest day, since the transport and treatment process took so long. Taylor will enjoy a good night of sleep without the stress of having to get ready to race.”
The race resumes tomorrow in Verona, in the same Veneto region where his mother and father organised their tours. Davis is in the USA, busy with his Parkinson’s foundation, and Connie is here cheering on her son. Everyday that Phinney spends in the pink jersey is another proud day for her and, despite the podium girls standing near by on the podium, another day she receives a bouquet of pink flowers from her son.
Phinney faces a 33.2-kilometre team time trial with BMC Racing. The team won the Giro del Trentino time trial and was a favourite to win tomorrow before Phinney’s crash. Now, he’ll be forced to keep an eye on Thomas.
Sky (with Thomas nine seconds back in GC), Garmin (Alex Rasmussen 13″) and Orica-GreenEdge (Brett Lancaster 23″) are favoured to win.
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