Your Friday Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

August 5, 2016

In Friday’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Morton repeats Utah stage win a year later; Gonçalves impresses in Portugal sprint; Van Poppel doubles wins in Burgos; Why the Tour of California’s move to WorldTour could be bad for US cycling; ‘Dream signing’ Michael Matthews confirmed by Giant-Alpecin; Preview: What you need to know about the men’s road race at the Rio Olympics; Dennis crashes on Rio course recon; Roche: A fourth Tour win for Froome will be complicated; Contador testing climbing legs in Burgos attack; AG2R La Mondiale signs Naesen and Vandenbergh for two seasons; Kluge signs with ORICA-BikeExchange; Davis Phinney’s ’84 Olympics bike and the golden dream that almost was; Study: Bicycle laws, infrastructure marginalizes poor; Drink developed for military boosts cycling performance; Five Crazy Moments in Olympic Cycling History; Wiggins set for final Olympic chapter – part two; Queensland state velodrome construction time-lapse

Davis Phinney’s ’84 Olympics bike and the golden dream that almost was

by James Huang

Davis Phinney and Connie Carpenter-Phinney — the parents of current cycling phenom Taylor Phinney — were the runaway favorites to win the men’s and women’s Olympic road races in 1984. It was a dream scenario with all the ingredients for a fairy tale ending: a popular American husband-and-wife duo, a first-ever road race for women at the Olympics, and home field advantage with the course set in Mission Viejo, California.

Real life isn’t a fairy tale, though, and that dream scenario didn’t end as planned. US tech editor James Huang sat down with Phinney at his home in Boulder, Colorado, to not only take a look at the bike he rode that infamous day, but also recap that fateful day in July.

Here is an excerpt from the feature:

“I was on the best day of my life up to that point. I had calculated my peak perfectly, and I had envisioned nothing but winning the Olympic road race, at least two years going up. I’d spent every day visualizing how the race would unfold, picturing myself in the situation to win so it’d all come together really well.”

The US team went into the race with a clearly defined plan. Phinney was the designated leader, and he had three teammates at his side: Thurlow Rogers, Ron Kiefel, and Alexi Grewal. They were thoroughly drilled, it was a course they knew well, and with the Soviet Union one of 14 nations boycotting that year’s Games, the cards were stacked in the Americans’ favor.

There was only one problem with the plan: Grewal wasn’t on board with it.

“Alexi Grewal attacked very early, after two or three laps, and he established a breakaway with a lot of principal players: Dag-Otto Lauritzen and Morton Sæther, Steve Bauer, Thurlow Rogers, myself, and a couple of other guys. We just sailed away. Everybody was pulling, and we established a big lead. The problem was, I felt so good, and I wasn’t used to being in this situation where, other than the Coors Classic, there was live TV coverage. Turns out they spent most of the race covering another sport but we assumed it was live! And so you’re going up these roads, which were just crammed with people. The noise the crowd was making was so intense, you couldn’t even hear yourself think hardly, let alone talk. Even though Alexi would be right next to me, I’d say something to him, and I couldn’t even hear myself talk because it was such a thundering noise. So for five hours, we went like that.”

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