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Zabriskie defends time trial crown

David Zabriskie (Garmin-Chipotle)

David Zabriskie (Garmin-Chipotle) (Image credit: Jon Devich)

Battle of the Zs comes down to five seconds

By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor in Greenville, South Carolina

A new course and a season of injury stood in front of Dave Zabriskie (Garmin-Chipotle) as he tried to defend his time trial national championship in Greenville. Despite having an off-year he targeted this race as a way to prove he is still the fastest – both to himself and to everyone else. And he did just that, riding aggressively over the fast course to beat domestic sensation Tom Zirbel (Bissell) by just five seconds.

"I didn't care what the conditions were going to be like, what the course was, I came to win!" Zabriskie told Cyclingnews after the race. "Coming back from injury this is really just my third race back," he said. "Cycling is full of ups and downs and my career has been up and down. I've had numerous injuries so I have to say thanks to all the people who stand behind me and keep believing in me."

While this result reaffirms his status as a top time trialist, he does not think it salvages his season – particularly with only 35 starters. "It feels great to have this win, but it's not like it saves my season or anything. It's me with something to prove time and time again... that I am Dave Zabriskie!"

Zabriskie said that the new course was an enigma at first. "It was a different time trial course from any I've ever seen. I did about five laps of practice a couple of days ago just to understand it! Like how we weren't going to run into each other. But the roads were big enough and it turned out to be safe – an interesting new course."

Once he figured out the course, he found a game plan. "In my head I pretended it was the Morgan Hill criterium and to be very aggressive from the start. I never let up, cresting the hills and turning the gears over as fast as possible. I went to Chann [McRae] last night and said, 'I usually don't want anyone on the radio with me but tomorrow I want you to be really aggressive with me. When I get to the top of the hills to spin, spin, spin and push. He did a great job and helped me out a lot."

Continue to the full report, results and photos.