After his proven performances at the Giro d'Italia, it wouldn't be a surprise to David Zabriskie's name on Team CSC's line-up for the 2005 Tour de France, which is now less than a month away.
However, the 26 year-old Utah native, who now lives in Berkeley, CA, but spends the season in Spain, is playing it cool. "Well, yeah... I don't know when I'll know for sure, but hopefully I'll know soon," he said to Cyclingnews about his chances in riding La Grand Boucle.
In his first Grand Tour for Team CSC, Zabriskie rode beyond expectations, winning the first time trial held in Firenze and finishing third in the final chrono won by his team leader, Ivan Basso. During that time, he was also won of Basso's strongest lieutenants along the flats and in the mountains, before the Italian's stomach problems saw him fall out of contention.
Asked to sum up his experiences at the Giro, Zabriskie said: "Hmm... Overall, a positive experience, though a little hard for the team when Ivan [Basso] faltered a little bit - but I think he came back and showed people what he was capable of, and it re-motivated the team. It turned out OK in the end."
Given the familiarity aspect of knowing he can perform under pressure in a Grand Tour situation - and for three weeks straight - one imagines Basso, who will also be CSC's man for the Tour de France, would be more than happy to have a guy like Zabriskie by his side. However, it seems team manager Bjarne Riis will decide on the final selection after the ProTour team time trial in Eindhoven on June 19.
"He hasn't given us a date, but I think we'll see how it goes in the team time trial for the ProTour, see how I'm feeling, and try and make it into the team," said Zabriskie.
With the importance placed on this event, and his prowess in the discipline, where he acted as Basso's point-man during the Giro, it's hard to see Zabriskie not being selected. However, if he isn't, Dave Z doesn't sound too bummed, casually remarking that he may go back to the States or spend some quality time with his girlfriend, who arrived in Spain a few days ago.
Then there's also the prospect of the world time trial championship title in Madrid, which, after his performances to date, Zabriskie would find hard to ignore. "It's still a ways away; I haven't completely decided on it, but I think it's a good idea," he said.
Look out for the interview with Dave Zabriskie in the next few days.