By Tim Maloney, European Editor
After a storybook start to this year's Tour de France, Dave Zabriskie's race had an ignominious end Sunday, as the CSC rider was forced to abandon. After his terrible head over heels crash in the final 1300m of Stage 4's team time trial, Zabriskie gamely tried to hang in there as long as possible at Le Tour, but his injuries, particularly his badly bruised ribs, and the high speed, compounded by digestive troubles likely brought on by the terrible stress on the American's body brought his Tour campaign to an end.
On Satuday's Stage 8, Zabriskie was off the back as soon as the attacks started and ended up riding with Brazilian sprinter Luciano Pagliarini all day until the final climb where the Liquigas rider dropped him.
We caught up with Zabriskie after CSC's media conference Monday in Grenoble. Despite his abandon, his girlfriend Randi had just come to France from Berkeley, California to be with her guy. Always ready with his unique sense of humor, Zabriskie took a few minutes to chat with Cyclingnews.
"My Tour came to a sudden stop," joked Zabriskie about his abandon. "I'm going to take a few days to rest up and get over my injuries and for the excitement to disappear. I'm glad about the experiences I've had at the Tour, but I'm sorry I can't be here to help the team. But the experience at the Tour de France will open up more opportunities for me. It's good for me that Randi is here; otherwise I might pull the blinds and get really depressed."
When we asked Dave what was next for him in 2005, he turned serious and explained, "mostly I want to rest up and recover and once the Tour is over, [CSC team boss] Bjarne Riis and I will discuss my program for the rest of the season."
Zabriskie will return to his European base in Girona, Spain today. After riding the Giro d'Italia and a third of the Tour de France, the American time trialing whiz may ride the Vuelta a España and will certainly be a candidate for a rainbow jersey in this year's World Elite Time Trial Championship in Madrid, Spain.