By Anthony Tan in Blois
When Belgian television asked maillot jaune Dave Zabriskie whether he was indeed the funniest guy in the peloton, the 26 year-old replied: "I have a sense of humour. I don't know if I'm the funniest one in the peloton. I try."
Yesterday on the road to Tours, Dave Z said he even shared a few laughs with Lance Armstrong, who happened to pull out a funny one himself. "Oh, not really interesting - just a bit of 'ha ha' stuff," he said of his brief conversation with the six-time Tour winner. "He said: 'hope you're enjoying it [the maillot jaune]' and I said, 'Yes, I am' - and then he asked if he could have a have a turn. I said: 'Sure, why not!'"
The quizzical funny-man also had an atypical response when asked how it felt to be wearing the maillot jaune on the fourth of July, the day when America declared its independence from Britain and democracy was born in 1776.
"Yeah, it's nice to be in yellow on the fourth of July. I don't know if I'll be here again next year, but if I'm back in the States [on July 4], we can have some fireworks - or they can save some fireworks and we can do it [when I return] back home and drink the drink that everyone likes to drink."
On a more serious note, Zabriskie was looking forward to today's time trial, but he knew he and his eight other CSC team-mates would have to ride the perfect race if he were to retain his golden fleece for another day.
"Yeah, I'm looking forward to it; everybody on the team is good at that event and I think we have a good chance, so, of course, I'm excited for it. But you never know what will happen. Two seconds isn't a lot, so we'll really have to go 100 percent.
"Anything's possible, but sooner or later, it's probably going to go away from Dave Zabriskie."
Unfortunately for him, that happened sooner rather than later, but what happened today in Stage 4 was a total disaster, as a lapse of concentration saw him hurtle into the barriers at full speed with less than two kilometres to go, cruelly ending his spell in yellow. At this stage, it's not known whether he's suffered any broken bones, but an injured left thigh and bruised ribs are already on his list of injuries.
At yesterday's press conference, Zabriskie also gave plenty of credit to his team and manager Bjarne Riis for where is today. "This team is a wonderful team to be on; it's a real team-oriented team, a lot of teamwork, team values."
But just as the press thought he had finished with his jokes for the day, Dave Z turned over a new page in his book of jokes: "That's one of the first things we learned at our camp in December when we were in the woods facing death," he said jokingly, but with a deadpan-serious facial expression.
"Some of you may not know, but I was in the hospital during that camp and didn't even finish, so I stared death right in the eye. It helped me grow as a man and become who am I today, because I almost died in those woods... and I can't wait to do it again," he said as seriously as he could, before a cheeky grin emerged.
Get well Dave - we hope you're OK!
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