"The phrase 'explore the world' is a dream. To be racing for team that's embracing this kind of a mantra is super special and I'm really grateful to be involved. I want to help to grow explore the world as a concept and, to be the one who is at the forefront of the exploring."
Taylor Phinney was born into a cycling family. His father, Davis Phinney, was the first American to win a road stage at the Tour de France. His mother, Connie Carpenter, won the first Olympic women’s road race in 1984. The son of two Olympians, Taylor followed in his family’s footsteps early in his career, making his Olympic debut on the velodrome in Beijing when he was only 18.
Four years later, Taylor won the opening stage of the Giro d’Italia and wore the coveted maglia rosa as the race leader. He’s spent three years in the stars and stripes after being crowned US national time trial champion in 2010, 2014 and 2016. He won races in Poland, Holland, the UAE, Colorado, California, and Utah.
A crash at 60 miles/hour during the 2014 US National Road Championships left Taylor with a potentially career-ending fractured leg. He was told by doctors he might never ride again. He rode. And he raced.
He finished his first Tour de France with #PinkArgyle in July 2017 where he spent a day atop the King of the Mountains classification, supported teammate Rigoberto Uran to second place and produced daily video diaries for NBC, taking viewers into the hotel room, onto the bus, and inside his head.
Taylor is the team’s self-appointed chief vibrations officer. His role within the race varies throughout the season. Always consistent? His unshakable positive energy inspires cohesion, optimism, connection and personal growth amongst his teammates.
Q&A with Taylor
What animal best describes you?
I think I found out last week that my spirit animal is a desert reptile, which I wasn't expecting, but I think it's kind of like an iguana or just some sort of a lizard. Even though that's not really what I want my spirit animal to be that's just what came to me. If I could choose my spirit animal I would be a condor or maybe a rhinoceros. But, I'm of desert reptile, and I can’t change that now.
Travel must have?
I mean technically the one thing I can't travel without is my passport but that's a snarky answer. Honestly I can make myself pretty comfortable without anything. I think I really enjoy traveling with the yoga mat because it allows me to do yoga in the airports and stuff, which most people find to be strange, but I'm like "Dude I'm about to get on this plane and I'm going to be so limbered and unblocked and y'all are going to be there sitting in there feeling like crap.
The ten-minute extended mix of Strobe by Deadmaus gets me super feisty.
What do you do to relax?
To relax I meditate. I have a meditation practice. I also make music and paint and draw and do yoga, There's some symbiosis sort of a thing my body needs to relax.
Advice to someone traveling abroad for the first time?
Be patient with yourself and remember that no one is judging you for not being able to speak your language. If anything, people really appreciate when you try to speak their language, It’s easy to feel super self-conscious because you're used to being able to express yourself to the best of your abilities and all of sudden you can't. And that can be frustrating and it can cause you feel really self-conscious. Try to break through that and just communicate with your hands and your face and whatever words you have at your disposal. There's a huge chance that you're never see most those people again, so don’t worry about making a bad impression and know the effort you’re making is probably making a better impression than you realize.