SIGNAL-DE-BOUGY, Switzerland (VN) — U.S. national time trial champion Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing) didn’t get the result he wanted on Saturday’s stage 4 TT at the Tour de Romandie. He went into an early downhill corner too fast and crashed spectacularly, smashing his bike, sustaining a bad bruise on his left buttock and getting a chainwheel rash on his left leg. He continued on his spare TT bike after losing at least a minute.
“It was a tight left turn right after the start, on a downhill section. I just got a little too excited,” Phinney told VeloNews after finishing with a time of 30:38 for the challenging 20.1km course through the rolling Swiss countryside north of Lake Geneva. “I think the bike took most of the hit because it broke in like four pieces. I sprung up and felt fine, which I was surprised about because I slammed into a wall.
“Besides (my backside) I think I did some damage to my cleat and shoes, but my knees, elbows and shoulders are fine. I just took a little hit on my back and side. For a crash, it probably looked terrible, but I didn’t get too hurt and I just feel kind of stupid about it. But I felt good in the time trial; I had a little extra adrenaline.”
Phinney may have been lucky to escape with minor injuries because two other riders in the first half of the field, Australian Leigh Howard (HTC-Highroad) and Italian Mateo Bono (Lampre) both crashed and had to abandon the race. Howard had gone through the midway check in 14:04, which was third fastest at that point, 22 seconds slower than his compatriot Richie Porte (Saxo Bank-SunGard) — who held the fastest time of 27:59 prior to the favorites who’d start later in the day.