Girth, mirth and feeling the fear: Taylor Phinney recovery report

Taylor Phinney‘s horrific crash in the US national road championships in June 2014 resulted in a badly broken leg (among other injuries) that put the 24-year-old out of the peloton for the rest of the season. His recovery has been slow but steady and the hope is that he will be back in racing mode for May’s Tour of California. He may be out of sight but he’s certainly not out of mind, and here are two excellent interviews with the man himself, both of which are unsurprisingly honest, funny and poignant.

PezCycling sat down with That Boy Phinney at the BMC training camp and talked about the healing process in mind, body and spirit – including why he calls his legs Froomey and Greipel. A quick quote from this excellent interview on how he approached his first big descent since the crash:

So I was coming into it [Lee Hill in Boulder] and I was like; “you just got to do it man, you just got to do it”. So it was no brakes, just go for it and I ended up doing it and I went through and just got this massive rush. As I was exiting the corner I just took my hand of the bars and flipped off the guardrail.

And while we’re in a Phinney frame of mind, here is an excellent interview from Peloton magazine. It’s from a few months back, but it’s still relevant, not least because he talks about what it means to be a professional athlete and how to be a gracious person.

We kind of have an obligation as athletes. We do this for our sponsors, for our sport, but we’d be nothing without the fan base. We have a responsibility to entertain. I’ve always thought of what I’m doing as entertainment. I’ve always loved being kind of loud and funny and making people laugh at the dinner table or in a team setting.

For me to be a good human, someone who contributes to his sport and community and country, that’s a lot more important to me than putting my name up on a bunch of palmarès.

I do what I do, I work really hard, I race my bike, and I want to entertain people and inspire people. I want to talk about the sport candidly and be approachable.

With words like that, is it any wonder that Taylor Phinney is one of the most popular riders in the peloton? He certainly is one of the most popular riders at Casa Fondue. KermitArms aloft when he’s back at the races this year.

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