Pro cyclist, Taylor Phinney, burst from the pack in this week’s first stage of the U.S. Pro challenge in Steamboat Springs, and claimed an amazing victory! It’s a great story, but it was not supposed to happen. In fact, after a horrific crash 15 months ago at the U.S. Cycling Championships in Chattanooga, TN, doctors thought he might lose a leg or at the least never ride a bike again! Obviously they had not experienced the fortitude and drive of a Taylor Phinney! This is also a story of a friendship manifesting itself in a time of crisis!
A motorcycle race official, underestimating racers going 50 miles per hour plus on a downhill section, caused Taylor’s terrible crash. In 2014 a training friend from Boulder Colorado, Lucas Euser, was behind Taylor when he crashed. Seeing the severity of the injury, Lucas got off his bike to help. Amazingly, Lucas was on a competing team and subsequently quit the race to be with his friend, even after Taylor told him to get back in the race! This is real friendship!
Taylor’s left leg was in terrible shape with multiple compound fractures. Many surgeries and months of physical therapy did not deter Taylor from getting on his bike. Fifteen months later Taylor had his victory, something he only dreamed about during his rehab.
Taylor has unique competitor’s DNA as the son of Davis Phinney and Connie Carpenter Phinney. Davis, now battling Parkinson’s Disease, was the second American to win a stage in the Tour de France. Connie won cycling gold in the ’84 Olympics.
I love stories of fortitude and the road to success as people battle adversity. We wish Taylor and his family all the best.
***Very interesting video on his crash, rehabilitation, and chat with Taylor’s friend, Lucas Euser.
***Must see video of Taylor Phinney’s victory in this week’s race in Steamboat Spring, Colorado!