We swapped #GreenArgyle for Tour de France King of the Mountain polka dots. Taylor Phinney was the first to pull on the storied spotted jersey. The 27-year-old got in the Tour’s first breakaway on Sunday where he picked up the only two mountain points on offer. He climbed onto the podium in Liège, Belgium following stage two to accept the first KoM jersey awarded to an American since Tejay van Garderen in 2011.
It was Nate Brown’s turn on Monday. As Phinney “cruised at the back of the bunch”, wearing a red and white POC Octal to match his dots, Brown was chasing mountain points up the road. The stage included five categorized climbs. Brown stayed away for three of them, scooping up three points — enough to jump to the top of the KOM classification.
The leader’s jersey passed from Phinney to Brown in Longwy, France. Both are Tour debutants. Both are Americans riding for the squad Phinney has dubbed #AmericasTeam for the month of July; only three Americans started the Tour this year, and all three ride for Cannondale-Drapac.
Phinney wanted to “live in the moment” and avoided questions about his plans to keep the jersey. Brown hopes to keep it “as long as possible”, he said on Monday night.
Solid start for two riders whose Tour debut was anything but assured. And now they’re here – rockin’ the dots.