Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing Team) and Carmen Small (Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team) took the first championships of the 2016 Volkswagen Pro Road National Championships on Friday, besting the pro men’s and women’s fields at the Wilkes County, N.C., race against the clock.
Phinney was the last men’s rider to leave the start house Friday morning and proceeded to turn in a 1:02:46 result, topping Tom Zirbel (Rally Cycling) and Alexey Vermeulen (Team Lotto NL-Jumbo), who finished in 1:03:55 and 1:03:58, respectively.
It was Phinney’s third time trial national championship and first since 2014.
“Any time you’re doing an hour time trial, it’s definitely a journey,” said Phinney. “The joy of victory hasn’t quite set in yet because I’m still deep in the pain cave.”
Small won her second career pro time trial championship (2013) with a 42:32 run, pacing the 38-rider division. Amber Neben (BEPINK) earned silver in 42:55, while Kristin Armstrong (TWENTY16 Ridebiker) claimed bronze in 43:40.
While the Volkswagen Pro Road National Championships do not act as a direct qualifier to the 2016 Rio Olympics, the wins for Phinney and Small provided much-needed momenutm heading into the June 24 Olympic Team selection.
“I left it all out there,” Small said. “With the Olympic selection, I needed to prove myself that I’m the best time trialist going head to head with the rest of the TTers.”
Saturday concludes action in Winston-Salem with the professional men’s and women’s road races downtown.
|1.||Taylor Phinney (Boulder, Colo.)||BMC Racing Team||02:45.71|
|2.||Thomas Zirbel (Boulder, Colo.)||Rally Cycling||03:55.07|
|3.||Alexey Vermeulen (Pinckney, Mich.)||Team Lotto NL – Jumbo||03:57.85|
|1.||Carmen Small (Durango, Colo.)||Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team||42:31.91|
|2.||Amber Neben (Lake Forest, Calif.)||BEPINK||42:54.61|
|3.||Kristin Armstrong Savola (Boise, Idaho)||TWENTY16 Ridebiker||43:40.47|
Photos by Casey B. Gibson/USA Cycling