American Dave Zabriskie finished second in the elite men's time trial today in Salzburg, Austria, behind his trade teammate Fabian Cancellara. Zabriskie's time of 1:01:41 withstood all challengers save for the powerful Swiss rider, who was 1'30 faster. But the silver medal means that the USA now has gold, silver and bronze medals in this year's World's, and sits at the top of the medal table at the halfway point.
Surprisingly, given the USA's strength in this discipline, it was the first time that one of its riders had won a medal in the elite men's event. Other than Zabriskie, Lance Armstrong and Levi Leipheimer are the only Americans ever to crack the top five.
Zabriskie's performance came two weeks after winning the USA Cycling Professional National Championship. "I felt good today," Zabriskie commented afterwards. "There was no way I could have gone any faster than I did. He (Cancellara) deserved to win with a time gap like that. Silver is okay, but to win is even better. Still, I'll celebrate tonight."
"I knew he'd be super today, but I didn't know he'd be Superman," Zabriskie quipped of Cancellara. "So congratulations to him."
Chris Baldwin, who was on his way to beating Zabriskie at the USA TT Championships two weeks ago before a late crash derailed his hopes, finished in 26th place in his first 50 km time trial for three years.
"I didn't have any expectations really with it being my first world's," Baldwin commented. "I just wanted to have a good experience. I tried to stay calm and not let the pressure of it being the world championships get to me, but I think the pressure did get to me and I shot out of the start gate a little hot. I did the first 10 kilometres too fast and never got my legs back under me. It could have been better, it could have been worse, but it was a great experience."