Jesse Sergent described his surprising win this way: “I was already at home and took a shower when I got the phone call that I won.”
How cool and laid back is that statement? That was today’s winner at the Tour of the Gila talking. No, not Leipheimer or Armstrong or Zabriskie. Nope, it was Trek-Livestrong’s Under 23 rider Jesse Sergent — who won the 26-kilometer event in a time of 34:09.
He figured he’d done a good time and just headed back to the hotel to shower, chill, find out later how bad the big guns from Radio Shack and Garmin would crush his junior league time.
They tried and failed and went back to their hotel, wondering is they were getting slower or Jesse was the new boss of New Mexico.
A world pursuit silver medalist, Sergent beat Leipheimer by 14 seconds and US National Time Trial Champion Dave Zabriskie (DZ Nuts) by 26 seconds and everybody else by gobs more time.
“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,” said Sergent who rides for Livestrong and is now Living Large.
You know The Man Himself was impressed — and so was Leipheimer. “I don’t think anyone expected him to win today but it’s great to see from an Under 23 kid on our team. I heard I was second and I figured it was Dave [Zabriskie] who beat me. I said, ‘how much time did I lose to Dave by,” and they told me I beat Dave, so I asked who beat me and they said Jesse did. I thought that was cool.”
Way cool, actually and it was another nutty and unexpected day at Gila world. DZ Nuts’ Dave Zabriskie just couldn’t decide how he felt about his ride. “So far it’s been a really slow start to the season and I tried to have a conservative off season with the Tour of California race being moved,” Zabriskie said. “Maybe my plan worked and I will come on form for California, that’s what I hope. I think it was a decent result. It wasn’t the greatest time trial of my life but it was respectable.”