David Zabriskie (Garmin-Cervelo) did it again in Greenville, SC. Coming off a strong Amgen Tour of California where he finally won the Solvang time trial, Zabriskie flew on the three 6.9-mile (11.1-km) loops, setting the fastest time at every split on his way to claiming his sixth National Time Trial title. Zabriskie kept an average speed of 30,754mph on the 20.7-mile (33km) course, stopping the clock at 40:23.
Finally Tom Zirbel (Jamis/Sutter Home) had a mechanical-free time trial and was able to show that he is fit and back. Starting in the second wave of riders, Zirbel was on the hot seat with a time of 40:54, the only other rider along with Zabriskie to break the 41-minute barrier on a hot and muggy day. Cheers of ‘welcome back Tom’ were heard from the crowd in the post-race interview. (See also: A Relaxed Zirbel Is Confident Prior To USPro)
Radioshack’s Matthew Busche took third, at 59 seconds down, only a few hundreds of a second faster than Brent Bookwalter (BMC). Defending champion, BMC’s Taylor Phinney finished 7th.
Following the race, Zabriskie made it very clear that his goal was to win, he wanted to wear the Stars and Stripes again after having to skip the race last year due to scheduling conflicts. Well he did it.
With a bigger field and after issues last year with follow cars forcing the riders to swerve around them, the 35-rider field was split up into three waves, putting most of the big hitters in the third wave. The first rider off, Chase Pinkham of BISSELL sets the fastest split off the gun which put him on the hot seat after the fist 12 riders finished.
The second wave shuffled the leader board. Bookwalter set the fastest split after the first lap with 13:32 but Zirbel had a faster second lap, a pace he kept to take over the hot seat ahead of Bookwalter and Radioshack’s Ben King. Then, it was time for the third and final wave. Zabriskie was flying by the end of his first lap, beating everyone with a split of 13:10. And he just kept pushing it to win another title.
Recovery was key for the riders that just finished the Amgen Tour of California. Both Zabriskie and Busche did a few hard efforts to keep the legs open while Zirbel rested, only had one opener session on Friday.
Pinkham’s early fast time put him in 9th place, a great ride for the young rider with his teammate David Williams in 10th. Bissell continues to show it’s eye for finding and developing young TT talent.
After one day of rest, the US National Road Race title will be awarded on Monday – see On Tap: US Pro Championships. Flying out to Europe in order to race at le Dauphine Libere, the lone rider fr the American ProTeam Garmin-Cervelo in the road race will be Andrew Talansky.
David Zabriskie (Garmin-Cervelo). “Last year when I found out I was going to miss it, I took that kind of personal. When I saw Taylor in the jersey, I was kind of ‘uummm’, a little growling here and there, he represented it well. It feels good to have it back.”
What makes Zabriskie fast. “Basically it just boils down to give it everything I had. I came here for one reason, win and take that jersey back. I accomplished that so I’m happy. I just really love this event. Wearing the Stars and Stripes, I take a lot of pride in that.”
About gaining confidence from the win at Solvang TT. “I got some confidence, it’s all about recovering when you have that short of time period, just I just tried to recover and be stress free. And then this morning, on the start ramp, turn it on, fight, fight, fight. I never really think it’s in the bag until I cross the line and everyone else is done.”
About winning multiple National Titles. “The time I did it before this one , I felt pretty good on that one. Today I just wanted to destroy myself, I knew Tom’s time, I knew I would have to fight to beat that and I was fighting until the last 500 meters. He did a really good time so I had to give it full gas. They get better, I enjoy wearing the jersey, they get better and better. But it’s not easy to come here with that kind of pressure, I’ve won it quite a few times now… I like to win.”
Tom Zirbel (Jamis/Sutter Home). “It’s definitely a very emotional day for me. Before the race, I was pretty focused on the job, again, like Matt, didn’t know what to expect, didn’t have a time trial at California so I didn’t what to expect from myself. I knew I would be rolling pretty good after such a hard stage race but I just went about my preparation the same. But now that I have a chance to reflect, yeah, kind of choking up a little bit, very emotional.”
Are you fully satisfied? “I didn’t know what to expect, I think that was more the emotion of the event, two years later, full circle. I had no right to really expect to win here based on my preparation, things fell into place with California, stayed away from sickness, rode well in the last couple of days. So things aligned and I was able to bring good form here but I certainly didn’t expect or feel like I deserved to win here. Overall I’m pretty happy with second.”
After California. “I had no business being at California with the fitness I had coming in so I knew I was going to have to just basically do nothing this week and hope that the openers yesterday went well. It went pretty well, I’m pleased.”
About his feeling for the sport. “I’m just have a greater appreciation at how quickly it can go away, I’ll even leave the term snatched away from you, so it’s that much more important to enjoy the moment, appreciate the gift that we were given and the opportunities that are presented to us.”
Matthew Busche (Radioshack). “Coming in, I didn’t know what to expect, honestly I didn’t have expectations. I was more focused on the road race but obviously, I’m here to compete and nothing to hold back for so I gave it some effort. I knew coming off of California that I should have some pretty good form and when I was out there I could tell I was having a pretty good day, not only by the way I was feeling but, because of the course doubling back on itself I was able to judge myself off a few of the other riders. Obviously, I knew that Dave was going like lightning so that wasn’t even an option but I knew, Tejay and Taylor are both very good time trialists but I knew I was riding equal to them and maybe put some time into them. I was pretty confident about how I was going, I was actually really tricked by the clock because every time I came through the line, it said ‘4’ and then my time and I thought that was my place but it was my number (smiles). Anyway, in the end it was a good day.”
After California. “Just a week of trying to recover. We had a pretty hard week in California, just the recovery and a couple of hard efforts to keep the legs open, and see what happens today.”
Taylor Phinney (BMC). “I felt good on the first lap. Coming around on the second lap, I knew it wasn’t there. I tried to dig deep as hard as I could. I started to get a side cramp, which doesn’t happen very often. My legs felt heavy and blocked. I wasn’t really able to recover. I had to stop pedaling on a couple of the descents to get as much recovery as I possibly could.
“I wanted to come here to at least get a medal. (David) Zabriskie’s been on fire lately so I knew he’d be really hard to beat. To miss out on the top three is pretty disappointing.”
Top 10 US Pro Time Trial Results (See complete results)
1. David Zabriskie (Team Garmin-Cervelo) 40:23.5
2. Tom Zirbel ( Jamis/Sutter Home) +31″
3. Matthew Busche (Team RadioShack) +59″
4. Brent Bookwalter (BMC Racing Team) +59″
5. Benjamin King (Team RadioShack) +1′19″
6. Danny Pate (HTC Highroad) +1′37″
7. Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing Team) +1′50″
8. Jason McCartney (Team RadioShack) +1′56″
9. Chase Pinkham (Bissell Cycling) +1′58″
10. David Williams (Bissell Cycling) +2′07″