Scott Zwizanski (Kelly Benefit Strategies) is prepared to put forth a winning performance at the USA Cycling Professional Time Trial Championships held on Saturday in Greenville, South Carolina. The time trial specialist has been focussed on the stars and stripes jersey since his third place performance last year.
“My goal was to improve on that finish ever since the race last year,” Zwizanski told Cyclingnews. “That is all I've thought about. I've been focused on this event all year. My team has supported me with all the top time trial equipment that I need. I've had the bike for training at home and I've specifically trained for it.”
Zwizanski placed third last year behind winner Dave Zabriskie (Garmin-Transitions) and Tom Zirbel, over the 33.3km parcours that included three laps of a short circuit around the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research. The top two riders from last year will not be participating in this year's event. Zabriskie is currently racing at the Vuelta a España and will not competing in this year's event while Zirbel is currently serving a two-year suspension.
Strong time triallists registered to participate in this year's race include former national champion Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack) and Taylor Phinney (Trek-Livestrong). “It will be tough because Levi is racing it and he is one of the best time triallists in the world,” Zwizanski said. “There are other guys who have been time trialing really great this year too. I'm going to put in my best effort and I want to improve on my third place finish last year. I'm going to do the best I can.”
Kelly Benefit Strategies placed four riders inside top 11 at the championship road race last year. Andrew Bajadali was the team’s highest placed rider in second to race winner George Hincapie. Bajadali will not be participating in the event due to a lingering knee injury. Zwizanski pointed to his teammate Neil Shirley and Dan Bowman as his team's strongmen for the road race.
“We want to improve on our performance last year,” Zwizanski said. “We were very close to winning both races last year and our team goal all year has been to win. We don't have as many climbing weapons in the road race this year but it will make our efforts a little more focused on guys like Neil Shirley and Dan Bowman.
“I think they are the best guys on our team to get over the Paris Mountain climb and stay with the top notch ProTour guys,” he said.