Zabriskie claims third straight professional time trial title
Greenville, S.C. (August 30, 2008)--David Zabriskie (Salt Lake City, Utah/Garmin-Chipotle) remains the only athlete to win a USA Cycling professional time trial championship after successfully defending his national title on Saturday – his third straight since the event’s inception in 2006.
Zabriskie edged runner-up Tom Zirbel (Boulder, Colo./Bissell) by just five seconds to maintain his monopoly on the stars-and-stripes jersey, completing the 33.4-kilometer course in 40 minutes, 39.40 seconds. Zabriskie’s Garmin-Chipotle teammate, Christian Vande Velde (Boulder, Colo.), took home the bronze medal, finishing 10 seconds off the pace.
Fresh off a 12th-place finish in the time trial at the Olympic Games in Beijing, Zabriskie once again illustrated his reputation as the fastest American in the individual race against the clock. Remarkably, his 2008 title comes only three months after fracturing a vertebrae in a crash at the Giro d’Italia last May.
"Coming back from injury, this is really just my third race back," Zabriskie said. “Cycling is full of ups and downs. I’ve had numerous injuries, so I have to say thanks to all the people who stand behind me.”
For Zabriskie, Saturday’s victory marks his fourth career national time trial title as a professional. He also won in 2004 when both pros and amateurs competed together in the elite national championships.
Garmin-Chipotle put four of its riders in the top five as Steven Cozza (Petaluma, Calif.) improved upon his 16th-place performance from a year ago, finishing just 34 seconds behind Zabriskie to place fourth, and Tom Danielson (Durango, Colo.) was fifth, 51 seconds back.
In addition to reaffirming Zabriskie’s dominance, Saturday’s race also confirmed Zirbel’s progress as a consistent contender in major time trials. At 29 years old, Zirbel is still showing improvement. Two years ago, he finished 1:29 behind Zabriskie to place seventh. Last year, he was 15 seconds back to finish just off the podium in fourth. And this year, his five-second deficit and silver medal suggest that 2009 may be his year to unseat Zabriskie.
After the first two titles Zabriskie won in Greenville, a course change didn’t deter him from capturing a third.
"I didn't care what the conditions were going to be like, what the course was," he said. "I came to win."
Racing three laps of a technical, 11.1-kilometer flat to rolling circuit, Zabriskie left the start gate last as the top-seeded rider and recorded the fastest marks at both intermediate time checks. After passing through the first lap with a three-second advantage on Zirbel, Zabriskie opened up his advantage to seven seconds after the second lap. He then lost a few seconds on the final lap but never looked to be in danger of losing his lead.
About USA Cycling
Recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the Union Cycliste Internationale, USA Cycling is the official governing body for all disciplines of competitive cycling in the United States, including road, track, mountain bike, BMX and cyclo-cross. As a membership-based organization and sanctioning body, USA Cycling consists of 64,000+ members, including 57,000 competitive cyclists, 1,500 coaches, 4,000 student-athletes, 2,200 officials, 350 professional cyclists, and 200 certified mechanics. USA Cycling also sanctions 2,500 competitive and non-competitive organized cycling events throughout the United States annually, as well as 1,800 clubs and teams. Associations of USA Cycling include the United States Cycling Federation (road, track & cyclo-cross), the National Off-Road Bicycle Association (mountain bike), the BMX Association, the National Collegiate Cycling Association and the United States Professional Racing Organization. USA Cycling is also responsible for the identification, development, support and promotion of American cyclists through various athletic initiatives and programs including the USA Cycling National Development Team, the USA Cycling Women’s National Team, the USA Cycling Junior Development Team, Talent Identification and Regional Development Camps, domestic and international race calendars, direct athlete funding and support programs, and educational camps and seminars. USA Cycling also fields and supports U.S. National Teams for various international events, including the Olympic Games, World Championships, Pan American Games, Continental Championship and World Cups across all levels and disciplines of competitive cycling. USA cycling further supports grass roots and locally-based initiatives through its 32 Local Associations and comprehensive network of licensed and certified coaches and officials. Additionally, USA Cycling conducts National Championship events for amateur and professional cyclists, awarding more than 600 national titles annually to men and women in junior, U23, masters, elite, professional and paralympic categories throughout the various disciplines of competitive cycling. To learn more about USA Cycling, visit www.usacycling.org. For media-related or general inquiries, please contact USA Cycling Director of Communications, Andy Lee at 719-866-4867 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Article Published August 30, 2008 For more information contact: