Oakley's Taylor Phinney and Jesse Sergent Pull Off Upsets With Wins At The Tour Of The Gila
Oakley’s Taylor Phinney and Jesse Sergent out-raced the biggest names in the sport during the fourth and third stage of the Tour of the Gila. Phinney won stage four with a powerful sprint at the end to take the Silver City Criterium. Sergent beat a world-class field in stage three, the 26.6 kilometer time trial.
Taylor Phinney entered the final straightaway in third place, but powered past Luis Amaran and Ivan Dominguez to win by roughly half a wheel. Phinney also beat out Oakley’s Lance Armstrong who he says influenced him to get into racing.
“Lance pretty much changed my life,” said Phinney. "When I saw him race, I was just blown away with the sport and I told myself that this was a true sport. I then thought to myself that I would give it a try.”
21-year-old Jesse Sergent finished stage three with a time of 34 minutes and 9 seconds. He was 14 seconds faster than race leader Levi Leipheimer who finished second, and a further 12 seconds on US time trial champion Dave Zabriskie who capped off the podium in third.
Leipheimer was full of praise,“Jesse is a silver medallist in the world pursuit championships so it makes sense,” Leipheimer said. “I don’t think anyone expected him to win but it’s great to see from an under-23 kid on our team.”
Sergent is already a successful pursuit rider on the track, and has shown, even to himself, just how much potential he has for the road with his victory today.
“It’s a pretty good feeling and to be able to make the fastest time was pretty special to me and I definitely didn’t expect it,” Sergent said. “I was already at home and took a shower when I got the phone call that I won. I’m very happy with my ride. I felt good out there but I just assumed that I wouldn’t be on the podium with guys like Levi and Zabriskie. I lost about three minutes to Levi last year so this is a big improvement.”