On occasion, there’s something highly rewarding about self-obliteration.
Dave Zabriskie killed himself out on the 20.7-mile time trial course in Greenville, South Carolina and came away with yet another stars and jersey, his sixth National time trial championship since he turned pro. He also killed Tom Zirbel’s chances at the same time.
“Today I just wanted to destroy myself,” he said. “I knew Tom’s time and knew I would have to fight to beat that. I had to give it full gas.”
Zirbel had the best time thanks to a powerful ride and the fact that unlike a week ago in Solvang at the Tour of California time trial, his seat post didn’t come loose.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” said Zirbel. “I didn’t have a time trial at California … I had no right to expect to win here with my preparation. Man, I really slowed down in the three corners. That’s something I need to work on.” Congrats to the 6’4″ big guy who is forced to ride a 61cm frame that compromises bike handling — one of the reasons he can’t yet race those corners.
Obviously, time trials are not something that Zabriskie needs to improve. He won the Solvang TT and won Greenville with over 30 seconds to spare. “Wearing the stars and stripes, I take a lot of pride in that,” said Zabriskie. “I gave it everything I had. I came here for one thing, to get that jersey, and I did it.”
Zabriskie now has a space issue in his closet with all these stars and stripes jerseys. House guests will think he’s moonlighting as Captain America or something.
Third place went to Radio Shack’s Matthew Busche at 1:09 back. He was one of the revelations of the Tour of California, doing much of the peloton torture to help secure Chris Horner’s overall victory.
“I gave it some effort and I knew coming off California I should have good form,” said Busche. “I could tell I was having a good day, not only by how I was feeling, but with the course doubling back on itself I was able to judge myself off of other riders.” Having a good day? — the man’s having a good month.
Zabriskie knows the course well — he’s never lost here — and he could ride it with his eyes closed in his prying mantis aero position: Some long false flats, a few technical chicanes, a long but moderate descent, then a mild ramping up to the finish. The flower pedal layout must appeal to his laid-back, vegan Cali sensibility.
The Garmin-Cervelo rider may have wrecked himself but things certainly turned out just fine. Stars and stripes for another whole year.
1. David Zabriskie, Team Garmin-Cervélo, 40:23.5
2. Tom Zirbel, Jamis-Sutter Home, 40:54.8
3. Matthew Busche, Team RadioShack, 41:22.1
4. Brent Bookwalter, BMC Racing Team, 41:22.2
5. Benjamin King, Team RadioShack, 41:42.6