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Phinney withdraws from Catalunya with knee pain

Continued pain in his left knee forced Taylor Phinney (BMC) to abandon his first WorldTour race Wednesday, midway through the third stage of the Tour of Catalunya.

Phinney said he first felt the pain on stage 1.

On the third stage, he stayed with the peloton over the first two climbs.

“But by the third climb, my knee had had enough,” he said. “One of the hardest things to do in the sport of cycling is to get off your bike and I fought as hard as I could. I am incredibly disappointed to leave this Volta a Catalunya and go through yet another setback in my first year as a professional, but I am learning from all of these experiences, and am fortunate to have an amazing team around me that is willing to do what is best for me in the long run. In the end, I had to do what was best for my health. I am still hoping to still make the start line for Roubaix.”

BMC chief medical officer Dr. Max Testa said the pain in Phinney’s quadricep tendon was likely due to several factors: small changes in his position a few days before the race, cold weather on the race’s opening day, and the intensity difference between training and racing.

“We didn’t want to take risks, so we decided to stop him,” Testa said. “We’ll evaluate the injury tonight and then he’ll probably take a couple of easy days. Then we’ll reset his program.”

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