RIO DE JANEIRO (VN) — Multiple sources indicate that Taylor Phinney is poised to ride for Cannondale – Drapac next season.
The young American, who is in Rio de Janeiro for the Olympics road race and time trial, declined to comment on the rumor.
“I don’t have any comment on that,” Phinney said. “I don’t have a contract signed with anybody right now. I am pretty jazzed to keep racing, but as of right now, I don’t have a contract signed for next year.”
Cannondale – Drapac CEO Jonathan Vaughters had no comment when asked to verify his team’s link to Phinney.
If Phinney, 26, is indeed heading to Cannondale, he would join a growing group of classics specialists that was bolstered by the recent signing of Sep Vanmarcke and also includes young talent Dylan van Baarle.
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Phinney’s contract is up at BMC Racing, his professional home since turning pro in 2011. His promising career was nearly nipped in the bud following his devastating crash at the U.S. championships in 2014, but he’s back to start his third Olympic Games this month in Brazil.
Just weeks ago, rumors suggested Phinney might retire. But the 26-year-old said the Olympics have helped him rekindle his love for racing.
“For sure, after the classics and the Tour of California, I was struggling just mentally with some negativity surrounding the bubble that is professional cycling,” he said. “The whole time since I’ve been back I’ve been really trying to wrap my head around what my new purpose is. Having come through the rehab, and having been on the other side of the traumatic injury, and then diving straight back into the scene, I felt like something was missing.
“These last six weeks, being able to train for the Olympics, it’s reinvigorated the passion, and reconnected me with this idea of intention and purpose of what I am doing. That felt like the missing ingredient over the last year and a half. I am super-jazzed on bike racing again.”