Twenty-year-old Taylor Phinney has opted to ride the 2011 season as a member of BMC, team president Jim Ochowicz announced Wednesday.
Phinney, who won the U.S. national time trial championship on Saturday, is currently a member of the Trek-Livestrong development squad and had, at one time, been poised to join RadioShack.
RadioShack manager Johan Bruyneel said that he had actively recruited the rider, but added that he respects Phinney’s decision to join BMC.
“I know there are some disappointed fans that we didn’t sign Taylor Phinney,” Bruyneel said on his webpage. “I understand your disappointment, as Taylor certainly has shown that he has a very bright future ahead of him and will be an asset to any team. I met with Taylor in the Tour de l’Avenir to talk with him one-on-one. Out of respect to Taylor and his new team, BMC, I won’t reveal the details of that discussion, but I will tell you this: Taylor had a very tough decision to make, and as much as I would have liked to have continued to be part of his development, I understand and respect his decision. I certainly wish him the best of luck and hope that he will continue to succeed. Simply put, his success is good for cycling.”
Ochowicz said that adding Phinney to the BMC roster bodes well for both the future of the American team and for the talented rider who is the son of American cycling legends Davis Phinney and Connie Carpenter.
“This is an extraordinary opportunity to work with one of the world’s most celebrated and gifted cyclists,” Ochowicz said. “Taylor will continue with his track racing goals and join the team on the road at events that will allow him to gain the necessary experience in selected professional events. He will be supported in these efforts by a highly successful group of teammates all of which are eager to reach out and share their experiences with him.”
Phinney said he chose the BMC Racing Team because it offered him so much. “When Ochowicz first sold my family and me on the program, we were just blown away with the way he and the BMC Racing Team organization carried themselves,” Phinney said. “They have a team with a lot of younger guys mixed with veteran riders and team leaders like Evans, Hincapie and Ballan. It seemed like the right fit for me.”
The team declined to specify the terms and length of its contract with Phinney.