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Taylor Phinney targets Volta a Catalunya for return to racing

The BMC racing team has announced that it’s newest star, Taylor Phinney, will return to racing at the Volta a Catalunya (March 21-27) following his recovery from a training ride crash last month.

2011 Tour of Oman, Stage 5
Phinney at the Tour of Oman

Phinney sustained a mild concussion February 25 after crashing on a training ride. But BMC manager Jim Ochowicz said the 20-year-old reigning U.S. national time trial champion has been cleared to return by team physician Max Testa.

“Taylor got his program started a bit at the Tour of Oman but was sidetracked when he crashed,” Ochowicz said. “We’re real excited that he’s healthy and ready to start racing soon.”

Directeur sportif John Lelangue said Phinney will benefit from seven hard days of racing in Catalunya.

“He was disturbed a bit in training camp due to some problems with his knee, so he needs good volume and good intensity,” Lelangue said. “There are some really hard stages in Catalunya where he’ll be suffering, but this is the best way to get volume for one full week. Then we can re-evaluate if he can go to the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.”

Phinney called the start of his 2011 season a “rocky” one, but said he’s received strong support that has him only looking ahead.

“I am very excited and anxious to get racing again,” he said. “I have been training well and building not only base in the legs, but my confidence as well. Catalunya is necessary for me if I wish to fulfill my classics ambitions this year and I am hoping it will give me the boost I need after the setbacks I have endured these past months. I have to thank the BMC Racing Team, my family, my girlfriend and, most of all, my fans for putting up with me in both high and low times.”

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