When Taylor Phinney, America’s premiere cyclist, went down during last year’s USA Cycling Professional Road Championships, his audible screaming left nothing to the imagination. After crashing into a guardrail at 60-70 miles per hour, Phinney’s left leg revealed an open compound fracture of the tibia, a broken fibula, and a horribly mangled knee.
With such a devastating accident, one would have guessed his cycling career was over. But the son of two Olympic medalists doesn’t go down without a fight. Painful physical therapy for up to eight hours a day pushed Phinney forward with the determination he would one day return to cycling.
Making an unexpected return to the forefront of racing after 15 months of healing and intense rehab, Phinney made a strong appearance in the Tour of Utah in August. Just a few weeks later, at the USA Pro Challenge, Phinney told reporters he wasn’t sure he would be strong enough to make the U.S. roster for the BMC racing team. Any doubts were put to rest after Phinney won the first stage of the 605-mile event in Steamboat Springs.
A month later, Phinney was headed to Richmond, Virginia for the World Cycling Championships. After taping his knee with USA KT Tape, Phinney was ready to take on the world.“After seeing it on other racers and athletes, I decided to give KT Tape a try. It has really helped provide support for my knee in Richmond and I’m going to continue to use it throughout the competition,” said Phinney.
Team cycling is different from a marathon in that cycling teams work together, saving energy by tucking behind teammates or opponents until they are ready to break off and sprint ahead. As a team, each rider can’t help but hope that someone from his or her country will win.
Although Vasil Kiryienka of Belarus won the overall time trial with a 1 hour, 2minute and 29.45 second ride, Phinney placed 12th overall with only a 1 minute 36.99 second slower time. With Italy and Poland boasting two riders with top 12 finishes and only one Olympic spot going to each country, Phinney’s 12th place finish was enough to give Team USA a spot for the Rio 2016 Olympics.
After winning the team time trial in Richmond, Phinney said “It’s hard to process winning it because it just feels so painful the whole time,” said Phinney. “I watched the guys win last year—this has always been kind of my event—but to win alongside your teammates, especially when it’s a World Championship, that only happens in one event.”
Phinney’s knee will always bear the scars of his horrific 2014 crash, but with the support of KT Tape, Phinney is sure to have a smoother road to Rio.
Find out more about the tape Taylor uses at http://www.kttape.com/what-is-kt-tape
Photo Credit: Taylor Phinney, 2015
Banner Image Photo Credit: Casey Gibson, 2015