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Athlete Spotlight: Taylor Phinney

By Paul D. Bowker | May 16, 2012, 12:30 a.m. (ET)

Taylor Phinney

Taylor Phinney made his Olympic debut at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games at age 18, placing seventh in the men’s track cycling individual pursuit. He is a strong contender to chase after a podium finish in London, although it won’t be in the individual pursuit because that event was eliminated for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Since 2007, when Phinney win a gold medal in the Junior Road World Championships in the time trials, he has been a big factor in road racing on the international level. In 2009, he smashed the U.S. record in the men’s 4,000-meter individual pursuit when he clocked 4:15.223 in the qualifying round at the UCI Track World Cup in Copenhagen, Denmark. Already nominated to the USA Cycling long team for the 2012 Games, Phinney is expected to be aiming to race in the individual time trials or mass-start road race.

Bet you didn’t know this: In addition to having parents, Connie and Davis, who both won Olympic medals in cycling, Phinney also has a great, great uncle who is the grandfather of Olympic gymnastics medalists Paul and Morgan Hamm.

Claim to fame: After bursting onto the Olympic scene in 2008, Phinney won consecutive UCI world track championships in men's individual pursuit in 2009 and 2010.

Born: 1990

Sport: Cycling

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Taylor Phinney