Cyclingnews reporter Kirsten Robbins joined CSC directeur sportif Tristan Hoffman and team mechanic Nicholas Legan in the support car during Dave Zabriskie's time trial this morning. The shot gun seat provided a perfect view of the one of the most talented time trialists in the world along with some insight into Team CSC.
Winning the time trial was the primary objective for Zabriskie and possibly his only opportunity at wearing the yellow jersey. "He will have difficulty getting the leader's jersey in the climbing stages," directeur sportif Tristan Hoffman told Cyclingnews as we climbed into the CSC team car. "Danielson and Landis are climbing very well right now and Brasstown Bald will be very difficult so we must do our best in the time trial today."
As we spoke, Zabriskie was on the starting ramp and looking very focused in anticipation of the start of his forty-kilometer effort. He knew that this was his best opportunity to wear the yellow jersey.
Many of the time trial favorites were out pre riding the time trial route early in the morning. "The team pre rode the time trial route so that we had no surprises along the way. The course is very hard," said Hoffman. "The climbs are all very hard and most difficult climb is long and very steep. But, Zabriskie really liked the time trial because he is a man that really likes to spin his legs and when you have a lot of steep climbs he can really spin well up them."
Time trailing is a lot about technique and every route requires a different technique. However Hoffman felt that Zabriskie's long experience as a time trial specialist meant he knew how to tackle almost every type of time trial from prologues - as proven in last year's Tour de France - to long and difficult courses.