A typical hot, humid day greeted the 35 racers contesting the US Professional Time Trial Championships in Greenville, South Carolina. Held on a clover shaped loop ridden three times, the field faced 33 kilometers under the sun.
Setting the fastest time through all three loops on the CU-ICAR campus, David Zabriskie (Garmin-Barracuda) took his seventh professional time trial championship with a time of 40:41:44. In second place was Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team) at 40:47:90 and in third was teammate Brent Bookwalter at 41:08:06.
The field was divided into three waves of riders with the favorites seated in the last group. In the first group, Scott Zwizanski (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) set the fastest time.
"It's a good course for me but my splits dropped off after the first lap," said Zwizanski. "I'm semi-happy. But it only counts if it is the fastest out of the three groups."
The second wave of riders were about to roll down the starting ramp and this group contained a couple of the favorites: van Garderen and Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Barracuda).
Crossing the line with a time of 40:47 van Garderen was now in the hot seat with the fastest time.
The final wave of riders were beginning to gather at the starting ramp. Employing every trick in the book to keep their body temperature stable, cooling vests and stockings filled with ice were standard equipment for the riders as they waited their turn.
Brent Bookwalter (BMC Racing Team) set a strong time with a 41:08, but not quite eclipsing van Garderen's time.
All eyes were then on Tom Zirbel (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies). In 2011 Zirbel was second, but had he recovered from a tough Amgen Tour of California?
"I think I've recovered from the Tour of California," said Zirbel just before taking to the start house. "I feel good today and I'm hopeful. I haven't had a good result this year due to sickness and bad fitness. I'm ready for a result and to ride to my potential."
However, Zirbel would have to wait for that podium place as he clocked a 41:23, good enough for third provisionally. However, starting directly behind him was the Amgen Tour of California time trial stage winner Zabriskie.
The defending champion had warmed up in the shade of a building with his wind trainer pointed toward the wall to eliminate any distractions. Zabriskie was all concentration.
Through the first time check Zabriskie set the fastest time. He continued to set the fastest time through the second check and it became clear the stars and stripes jersey was staying on his back.
Hammering through the final stretch Zabriskie stopped the clock with a time of 40:41, six seconds faster than van Garderen.
"I was too confident in the beginning," said the new time trial champion. "But I know with experience to never be too over confident. I know I came through with a good first lap. The second lap, it's not like I didn't try, but in my head (I thought) I was winning and I got complacent. On the last lap I realized I didn't really know what was going on out here (no race radios for time splits) so I'd better dig deep just in case. I could tell by the cheers that I had won but didn't know it was that close."
For van Garderen it was another close call with the top step of the podium.
"It was a good ride and I left everything on the course, so I can't say I have any regrets. But six seconds is a tough pill to swallow. It would have been easier to be second place at 40 seconds back because you know there was nothing else you could have done. But six seconds you look back and wonder if you could have taken a corner different or whatever. What's done is done."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||David Zabriskie (Garmin-Barracuda)||0:40:41|
|2||Tejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing Team)||0:00:06|
|3||Brent Bookwalter (BMC Racing Team)||0:00:27|
|4||Thomas Zirbel (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)||0:00:42|
|5||Nathaniel English (Kenda 5-Hour Energy Cycling Team)||0:00:57|
|6||Timothy (Timmy) Duggan (Liquigas-Cannondale)||0:01:16|
|7||James Stemper (Kenda 5-Hour Energy Cycling Team)||0:01:25|
|8||Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Barracuda)||0:01:30|
|9||Benjamin King (RadioShack-Nissan)||0:01:52|
|10||Andy Jacques-Maynes (Kenda 5-Hour Energy Cycling Team)||0:01:54|
|11||Michael Olheiser (Competitive Cyclist Racing Team)||0:02:02|
|12||Scott Zwizanski (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)||0:02:04|
|13||Robert Sweeting (Kenda 5-Hour Energy Cycling Team)||0:02:24|
|14||Matthew Busche (RadioShack-Nissan)||0:02:30|
|15||David Williams (Competitive Cyclist Racing Team)||0:02:39|
|16||Phillip Gaimon (Kenda 5-Hour Energy Cycling Team)||0:02:46|
|17||K Frank Pipp (Bissell Pro Cycling Team)||0:02:52|
|18||Ian Burnett (Competitive Cyclist Racing Team)||0:02:54|
|19||Taylor Shelden (Competitive Cyclist Racing Team)||0:02:59|
|20||Joseph Rosskopf (Team Type 1 - Sanofi)||0:03:01|
|21||Craig Lewis (Champion System Pro Cycling Team)||0:03:07|
|22||Jonathan Mumford (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)||0:03:27|
|23||Carter Jones (Bissell Pro Cycling Team)||0:03:40|
|24||Paul Mach (Kenda 5-Hour Energy Cycling Team)||0:04:03|
|25||Sean Mazich (Jelly Belly Cycling)||0:04:14|
|26||Benjamin Jacques-Maynes (Bissell Pro Cycling Team)||0:04:18|
|27||Andrew Baker (Bissell Pro Cycling Team)||0:04:28|
|28||Nathan Brown (Bontrager LIVESTRONG Team)||0:04:48|
|29||Chase Pinkham (Bissell Pro Cycling Team)||0:05:00|
|30||Alister Ratcliff (Chipotle-First Solar Development Team)||0:05:24|
|31||Nathan King (Competitive Cyclist Racing Team)||0:05:48|
|32||Eric Young (Bissell Pro Cycling Team)||0:05:53|
|33||Tyler Karnes (BMC/Hincapie Sportswear Development Team)||0:06:33|
|34||Menso De Jong (Jelly Belly Cycling)||0:06:39|
|35||Andrew Dahlheim (Bissell Pro Cycling Team)||0:08:06|
|DNS||Chad Haga (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)|