BMC hopeful Stetina, Phinney can race before end of season

BMC hoping injured American duo will recover in time for 2015 returns

Two riders who likely would have been in this year’s Tour de France — Peter Stetina and Taylor Phinney — are at home watching it on TV.

Team officials are quietly hopeful that the BMC Racing duo, each recovering from crashes, could return to racing before the end of the 2015 season.

Stetina crashed out in the Vuelta al País Vasco in April when he collided with a metal pole left lodged in the finishing straight of stage 1. Phinney has been sidelined since crashing at the U.S. road national championships in May, 2014.

BMC Racing general manager Jim Ochowicz said both are closing in on a return to racing.

“It’s closer, because they’re healing, and they’re training, but we cannot say when that will be yet,” Ochowicz told VeloNews. “They’re not cleared to race yet by our medical staff. I can’t say when that will be.”

Ochowicz added, however, that he expects to see them both back in action before the end of 2015.

“I can’t see how he wouldn’t race this year. Where that would be, I just don’t know yet,” Ochowicz said of Stetina. “And Taylor? The same thing. We hope to see him racing this year, yes. From a medical standpoint, it seems to be more complicated. We’re hopeful.”