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Boulder's Phinney just misses bronze medal - again
LONDON — Taylor Phinney has four more years to think about finishing fourth.
The 22-year-old cyclist from Boulder finished just off the podium in the time trial Wednesday, won by Britain's Bradley Wiggins. The frustrating result followed a fourth-place finish in the road race on Saturday, when Phinney was beaten for the bronze in a sprint to the line.
"I'd like to be one of these guys vying for the top step of the podium some day," he said.
Phinney came into the London Games as one of the favorites to medal in the time trial, and his performance in the road race was both unexpected and a clear indication his form was good.
He was fourth at the first time check Wednesday and never managed to improve his standing, finishing the 27-mile course in 52 minutes, 38.07 seconds. The time was 50 seconds off the bronze-medal time of Germany's Tony Martin, and more than two minutes off the pace of Wiggins.
"He's got a good 10 years on me," Phinney said of the four-time Olympic gold medalist. "It would be a dream to build up to the level he's at in the next eight to 10 years."
Kristin Armstrong of the U.S. won her second straight gold medal in the time trial, beating world champion Judith Arndt and the rest of the women's field by more than 15 seconds.
Still, Phinney's performance was the latest example of the Americans coming oh-so close.
Along with his near-bronze road race, the U.S. team had Shelley Olds in a strong position in the women's road race before her front tire punctured. One of the world's best sprinters, Olds would have almost certainly finished on the podium had she remained in the four-rider breakaway.
Now, the road cyclists will have to turn their attention to the future.
The world championships take place next month in the Netherlands, and Phinney is already looking ahead to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, where he'll again attempt to join his parents — Davis Phinney and Connie Carpenter-Phinney — as Olympic medalists.
"I'd like to go into Rio as the best time trialist in the world," Phinney said. "I think in four years, that's definitely a possibility."