Taylor Phinney (Cannondale-Drapac) will not start Paris-Roubaix on Sunday, as he is still feeling the effects of a concussion sustained in a fall during the Tour of Flanders.
“Until yesterday, I was feeling pretty optimistic about being able to ride Roubaix this weekend,” Phinney said. “I’d been feeling OK at the dinner table and hanging out. But then yesterday was my first ride outside.
“I started riding and got a little bit of a headache. Then it went away and I thought, ‘ok, I’ll be fine.’ But then it came back and I started experiencing some emotional ups and down that reminded me of the last concussion I had.”
Upon his return from the training ride, Phinney and team management made the decision to skip Roubaix.
“With even the mildest of concussions, we sit the rider six days,” said team manager Jonathan Vaughters. “The rider may be able to train some in that period, but racing is out of the question. Normally we encourage training to occur on the Tacx. We evaluate the rider daily, and after six days he must take a cognitive test to make sure the effects of the concussion have subsided. At that point, they may or may not be able to resume competition.”
The omission of the classic most suited to Phinney stings, but he’s already looking forward to the Amgen Tour of California and the opening stage of the Tour de France.
“I’m frustrated. I’ve been nursing myself this whole classics season to get into these races and be with the guys,” Phinney said. “But this just happens. This happened my first season as a pro, but then I ended up having a pretty nice second part of the season. On the positive end, I’m more motivated. I feel more motivated than I have in a long time to put in effort for the summer. I look forward to the Tour of California and the first stage of the Tour de France. These things excite me.”