Tom Zirbel has returned to US domestic racing, after serving a reduced suspension for an anti-doping infraction, and he is scheduled to compete at the National Racing Calendar (NRC) SRAM Tour of the Gila held from April 27 to May 1 in Silver City New Mexico. The time trial specialist will ride under the Hotel San Jose/ACME team, according to race promoter Jack Brennan.
US Anti-doping Agency (USADA) gave Zirbel a two-year suspension after he tested positive for Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) at the US Pro Championships on August 29, 2009. He maintains that he did not knowingly ingest the banned substance. However, USADA reduced his suspension by six months, ending on March 21, 2011, for helping the agency in two separate anti-doping cases.
Although Zirbel announced that he would retire from the sport, he competed in a non-USA Cycling sanctioned event at the Tour de Gruene held in Austin, Texas last November. He won the time trial and beat Lance Armstrong’s course record.
He recently won the Louisville Criterium and placed fourth in the Mead-Roubaix Road Race, both held in Colorado. He also plans to contest the local Haystack Mountain Time Trials and the Air Force Road Race, prior to the SRAM Tour of the Gila.
Zirbel won the SRAM Tour of the Gila stage three 25 kilometres time trial in 2008.