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Continuing a remarkable recovery from a grave 2014 injury, Taylor Phinney will return to one of his happiest hunting grounds Sunday — the worn stones of northern France for Paris-Roubaix.
This comes at the end of a consistent run of races in northern Europe, including Gent-Wevelgem, where he rode aggressively and Tour of Flanders, where he bounced back from a crash, which felled his BMC team leader Greg Van Avermaet. Despite Phinney’s two victories in the under-23 edition of Roubaix (2009 and 2010), he may play a support role for BMC. However, sport director Fabio Baldato acknowledged that, without Van Avermaet, the riders in red will have more latitude to ride for personal results.
“Of course we are going to miss Greg on Sunday, but we are still going in with a strong team, and we have a couple of different options. It’s a great chance for all of our riders to show what they can do and take any opportunity that presents itself, which is rare in a race like Paris-Roubaix,” Baldato said.
Of the eight riders, only Manuel Quinziato has cracked the top-10 at Roubaix, in 2009, and at 36, he’ll be the eldest of a young team on Sunday — half of BMC’s line-up is 25 years old or younger.
BMC Racing for Paris-Roubaix
Marcus Burghardt (G)
Jempy Drucker (Lux)
Floris Gerts (Nl)
Stefan Küng (Swi)
Daniel Oss (I)
Taylor Phinney (US)
Manuel Quinziato (I)
Rick Zabel (G)