American Taylor Phinney won the 7.8-kilometer prologue at the 2010 Tour de l’Avenir Sunday, taking the first leader’s jersey at the prestigious U23 stage race.
Phinney beat Great Britain’s Alex Dowsett by six seconds. Dowsett and Phinney are normally teammates on the Trek-Livestrong U23 team, but each is riding for his national team at l’Avenir.
Taylor said in the post-race interview that “this was my greatest victory.” But he said when the race hits the mountain, he will likely be riding support for teammate Andrew Talansky, who finished sixth in the prologue.
Talansky was one of the early starters on the day and put up a time that made him the leader on the board for 80 riders.
Other U.S. riders at the race are Ben King, Alex Howes, Chris Butler and Ian Boswell.
The seven-stage event ends September 12 with a 13.5-kilometer individual time trial that is almost entirely uphill to the Alpine resort town of Risoul.
Last year, American Tejay Van Garderen, then riding for the USA Cycling development team, finished second overall at l’Avenir, the highest American finish since Greg LeMond won in 1982 (See related: Past Tour de l’Avenir winners). Van Garderen now rides for HTC-Columbia and is currently 11th overall at the Vuelta a Espana.
The prologue was held in the small town of Vierzon, two hours south of Paris, in clear and warm conditions.
Monday’s stage 1 is a hilly 145km from Vierzon to Saint Amand Montrond. Stage 2 also is hilly, but the real mountains begin on stage 3, a 157km route with a category 1 mountaintop finish at the Col de Beal.
- 1. Taylor PHINNEY, (USA), in 8:55
- 2. Alex DOWSETT, (GBR), at 6
- 3. Michael MATTHEWS, (AUS), at 7
- 4. Loïc DESRIAC, (FRA), at 19
- 5. John DEGENKOLB, (GER), at 21
- Complete results