Dave Zabriskie (Garmin-Cervelo) won his sixth stars-and-stripes jersey at the USA Cycling Pro Time Trial Championships on Saturday in Greenville, South Carolina.
The California resident blazed through the three-lap, 33.3kms parcours in a time of 40:23, topping silver medalist Tom Zirbel (Jamis-Sutter Home) by 31 seconds while bronze medalist Matthew Busche (RadioShack) finished 59 seconds off the pace.
"It boils down to giving it everything I have," Zabriskie said. "I love this event and wearing the stars-and-stripes, I take a lot of pride in it. I enjoy wearing the jersey and it gets better and better. It's not easy coming here with the pressure of winning it quite a few times.
"It was a nice course and I liked it," Zabriskie said. "The last time I did it, in 2009, I felt pretty good. Today, I just wanted to destroy myself. I knew Tom's time and that I would have to fight to beat that. I was fighting for the last 500 metres and I gave it full gas. Tom rode a good time today."
Zabriskie won the time trial championships event on five previous occasions in 2004 and from 2006-2009. His five most recent championships were all won in Greenville. His time on the same course in 2009 was 39:37, the course record.
Zabriskie was the odds-on favourite to win the event having recently capturing the stage six individual time trial at the Amgen Tour of California, breaking the course record previously owned by Levi Leipheimer of RadioShack.
Zirbel last competed in the USA Pro Cycling Championships in 2009, where he placed second to Zabriskie with a time of 40:21. He was subsequently suspended for an anti-doping infraction but maintains his innocence.
Zirbel returned to the peloton in March, after a reduced one and half year suspension, and recently joined the Jamis-Sutter Home team for the season.
"I have a greater appreciation for how quickly [the sport] can go away," Zirbel said. "I will even use the term snatched away from you. It is that much more important to enjoy the moment and appreciate the gift that we were given and the opportunities that are presented to us."
Zirbel placed fourth in the UCI World Time Trial Championships in 2009 and his long-standing history as a time trial specialist made him one of the dark horse favourites on the day.
"It was definitely an emotional day for me," Zirbel said. "Before the race I was pretty focused and doing my job, but didn't know what to expect from myself. I knew I would be going good after such a hard stage race [Amgen Tour of California] but I just went about my preparation the same. Now that I have had a chance to reflect, it's emotional."
Busche put forth a strong third place performance on the day. He also came off of a good performance at the Amgen Tour of California where he helped his teammates Chris Horner and Levi Leipheimer finish first and second overall respectively.
"I didn't have expectations. I was more focused on the road race but I was here to compete and so I didn't hold back," said Busche. "I gave it some effort.
"I knew coming off of California I was in good form and when I was out there, I knew that I was having a pretty good day. The course double backs on itself and I was able to judge myself off of a few other riders."
|1||David Zabriskie (Team Garmin-Cervelo)||0:40:23.47|
|2||Tom Zirbel (Jamis - Sutter Home)||0:00:31.32|
|3||Matthew Busche (Team RadioShack)||0:00:58.59|
|4||Brent Bookwalter (BMC Racing Team)||0:00:58.71|
|5||Benjamin King (Team RadioShack)||0:01:19.17|
|6||Danny Pate (HTC-Highroad)||0:01:36.57|
|7||Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing Team)||0:01:50.22|
|8||Jason McCartney (Team RadioShack)||0:01:56.19|
|9||Chase Pinkham (Bissell Cycling)||0:01:58.05|
|10||David Williams (Bissell Cycling)||0:02:07.15|
|11||Adrian Hegyvary (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling)||0:02:08.51|
|12||Ian Burnett (Realcyclist.com Cycling Team)||0:02:23.36|
|13||Oscar Clark (Realcyclist.com Cycling Team)||0:02:32.97|
|14||Taylor Sheldon (V Australia)||0:02:57.30|
|15||Paul Mach (Bissell Cycling)||0:03:06.82|
|16||Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Highroad)||0:03:12.06|
|17||Andy Baker (Bissell Cycling)||0:03:12.83|
|18||Quinn Keogh (Team Exergy)||0:03:14.99|
|19||Alfredo Cruz (Chipotle Development Team)||0:03:15.60|
|20||Nathan Brown (Trek Livestrong U23)||0:03:28.55|
|21||Matt Cooke (Team Exergy)||0:03:31.91|
|22||Reid Mumford (Kelly Benefit Strategies - OptumHealth)||0:03:32.35|
|23||Robert Sweeting (Kenda/5-hour Energy Pro Cycling presented by Geargrinder)||0:03:36.54|
|24||Roman Kilun (Kenda/5-hour Energy Pro Cycling presented by Geargrinder)||0:03:41.56|
|25||Phillip Gaimon (Kenda/5-hour Energy Pro Cycling presented by Geargrinder)||0:03:46.76|
|26||Andy Jacques-Maynes (Bissell Cycling)||0:03:47.10|
|27||Joshua Berry (Realcyclist.com Cycling Team)||0:03:49.73|
|28||Daniel Summerhill (Chipotle Development Team)||0:03:56.27|
|29||Jacob Rytlewski (Kenda/5-hour Energy Pro Cycling presented by Geargrinder)||0:04:08.10|
|30||Sam Johnson (Team Exergy)||0:04:13.71|
|31||Kai Applequist (Team Exergy)||0:04:31.58|
|32||Cameron Cogburn (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda)||0:05:02.22|
|33||Evan Hyde (Realcyclist.com Cycling Team)||0:05:41.54|
|34||Greggory Brandt (Kenda/5-hour Energy Pro Cycling presented by Geargrinder)||0:06:03.30|