David Zabriskie took advantage of the hot and windy conditions in the Bakersfield time trial to claim the stage win and overall lead in the Amgen Tour of California on Thursday. The course was well suited to the Garmin-Barracuda rider, benefitting those who can put out plenty of power: fairly flat, no technical turns and new pavement that sapped the speed of lesser men.
"It was a very hot, very windy, very desolate part of California, but it is the kind of course I like. I was very happy to get this stage, to win it, get it done, I've been waiting for it."
Zabriskie was beaten at the first time check by BMC's Tejay van Garderen, but ended up 34 seconds ahead of the younger American. "You gotta go out hard and you have to finish hard," Zabriskie said. "I was happy I didn't blow up. Some of that is just concentration.
"This was a really good course for me. Any course where I don't have to get out of the of the aero bars is to my advantage," he said later in the press conference. "My position is pretty good in the wind so I was welcoming the wind."