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Phinney to start Vuelta, miss Colorado

Taylor Phinney will skip the opportunity to inherit the leader’s jersey his father Davis last held at the Coors Classic in 1988. Phinney’s BMC Racing team confirmed Thursday that the neo-pro would start his first grand tour, the Vuelta a Expaña, this month, instead of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

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BOULDER, Colorado (VN) – Taylor Phinney will skip the opportunity to inherit the leader’s jersey his father Davis last held at the Coors Classic in 1988. Phinney’s BMC Racing team confirmed Thursday that the neo-pro would start his first grand tour, the Vuelta a Expaña, this month, instead of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

“Taylor will ride the Vuelta and won’t be in Colorado,” said a team official.

Phinney, 21, could not be reached immediately for comment. However in June he told VeloNews that he was working closely with director Max Sciandri to determine his late-season schedule. After a rough start to his first professional season, including knee tendonitis and a concussion, Phinney and BMC management weighed the value of a start in his home race against the long-term benefit of a grand tour.

“I have really good people around me at BMC that are helping me make the hard decisions on that,” Phinney told VeloNews. “I’m consulting daily with Max in Italy. He feels the experience of doing even half of a grand tour would in itself set me up for the world championships, and for next year.”

The Vuelta will be the world U23 time trial champion’s grand tour debut. The three-week Spanish race runs August 20 to September 11.

The race opens with a 13.5km team time trial in Benidorm, on the Mediterranean coast. Two mountain stages lead into the race’s only individual time trial, the 47km stage 10 test in Salamanca.

BMC’s Tour de France champion Cadel Evans is confirmed for the Colorado tour. Other likely starters include George Hincapie, Brent Bookwalter, Jeff Louder, Chris Butler, Chad Beyer and Chris Barton.