Cyclist Taylor Phinney presents tough decision for U.S. Olympic panel | SummitDaily.com

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Cyclist Taylor Phinney presents tough decision for U.S. Olympic panel

AFP/Getty Images/Luk Beniesluk Benies

AFP/Getty Images/Luk Beniesluk Benies

Taylor Phinney gave up the track for the road. In four days, he’ll learn if that road leads to London or merely the hills near his family’s Boulder home.USA Cycling picks its Olympic road cycling team Friday, and the 21-year-old Boulder High grad is a top contender for one of the five road race spots and the lone time-trial berth. He believes he’s an Olympian and isn’t afraid to say it.”I’d think I’m a pretty natural selection,” he said. “I have to make a case for myself. I know how important the Olympics are and how important it is for my future.”His transition from track Olympian in 2008, where he finished seventh in the individual pursuit, to road racer hit its stride last year. He was the first American in last year’s world championships, finishing 15th, and in last year’s Vuelta de Espana, in which he finished fifth.In last month’s Giro, he made headlines all over Italy when he won the opening 5.2-mile prologue and held the leader’s pink jersey for three days. It’s unclear who was more overjoyed: Taylor, whose training base is in the Tuscan town of Lucca, Italy, or his mother, Connie, a 1984 road race Olympic gold medalist who was in Denmark for the race.To read this article in its entirety, go to http://www.denverpost.com/cycling/ci_20822827/cyclist-phinney-presents-tough-decision-u-s-olympic?IADID=Search-www.denverpost.com-www.denverpost.com