Phinney makes good on favourite tag

Wed, 29 Sep 09:54:00 2010

Two-times world individual pursuit champion Taylor Phinney won the first gold medal of the World Championships in Melbourne in the men's U23 time trial.

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The 20-year-old American lived up to his pre-race billing as the favourite as he stormed round two laps of the 15.9km circuit in 42 minutes and 50 seconds.

Home hope Luke Durbridge had set an challenging time earlier in the session before Phinney pipped his effort, consigning the Australian to silver.

Germany's Marcel Kittel finished third to take bronze, 24 seconds behind Phinney.

"That's not the best situation to be in," Phinney said of his favourite tag. "It puts extra pressure on.

"And it wasn't an easy course, especially for us big guys. I really had to dig deep.

"I heard Luke had gone out too fast in the first lap so I just tried to conserve myself over the first lap. In the second I gave it everything I had."

The 19-year-old Durbridge, who will not turn pro for another year, was beaten by just 1.9 seconds by Phinney.

"I started to get pretty excited on the podium, then Taylor came through," Durbridge said.

"I went really hard on the first lap and near the end of the second when my coach was telling me to start giving it more, I didn’t have anything left to give."


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