Friedman to USA track trials
By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor in Saint-Georges, Québec
A few too many injured riders and other team goals led to the decision by Slipstream Chipotle - H30 team to not return to the Tour de Beauce in eastern Québec, Canada, this week. Chann McRae, who was directing the team at the Commerce Bank Triple Crown, told Cyclingnews that the team was going to try to start the race with a short-handed squad of five instead of the full eight riders, but two injured riders reduced that number to three. While the presence of USA Time Trial Champion David Zabriskie on the start list was surprising to see, given his serious back injury at the Giro d'Italia and the recent birth of his child, McRae said that Jason Donald injured himself too badly in the Allentown race on Tuesday to continue.
"[Dave] Zabriskie is still recovering from his injured back," said McRae. "And Jason cut his finger pretty bad in a crash Allentown; then it got infected."
Another Slipstream rider racing in Philly was Michael Friedman. However, Friedman is unavailable to replace Donald or Zabriskie as he is off to Los Angeles this week to contend for a spot on the USA Olympic track team. "We're going to be doing a three-kilometre flying time trial on two back-to-back days," he said. "It's going to be two [riders chosen] from four guys but we're all great friends. I am confident of going from racing 250 kilometres on the road and then going straight to track, but you just never know.
"What ever happens, happens; I'll be positive," he said regarding USA Cycling's ambiguous calculus-like criterion for picking the final team. "The fastest guy is automatic and the second is the coach's selection. All four contenders are good friends, but it will be heart-breaking when two of us don't make it."
Friedman said that he felt in top form at Sunday's Philadelphia race, despite the near 100-degree [F] heat. "Who knew I'd feel so good! It was all about who could stay the coolest and hydrated – as you'd expect. On any other day it could have been so different. I had the legs but I was in the wrong position in the last 500 metres in second wheel – so I just had nothing left with 100 metres too go."
He said his team is fully supportive of the training schedule change if he does make the Olympic team. "Part of my contract means the team will give me a break to train specifically for the Olympics."