The DZ Train Powers to Time Trial Victory and Overall Lead as Sagan Succumbs
In perfect sunny conditions with temperatures that reached well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, David "The DZ Train" Zabriskie (USA) of Team Garmin-Barracuda powered to an impressive individual time trial victory.
In perfect sunny conditions with temperatures that reached well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, David "The DZ Train" Zabriskie (USA) of Team Garmin-Barracuda powered to an impressive individual time trial victory on his Cervelo P5 and in the same effort moved himself into the overall race lead in Bakersfield, finishing in first place with an overall time of 35 minutes and 59 seconds.
Completing the out-and-back time trial course 23 seconds slower than him was Germany's Jens Voigt of Team RadioShack-Nissan. Team BMC Racing's American Tejay van Garderen finished 42 seconds behind Zabriskie and moved into second place in the general classification, just 34 seconds behind.
"My house is two hours from here, so I came out in the winter," current U.S. national time trial champion Zabriskie said after being celebrated on the podium.
Zabriskie is hopeful his result here at the 2012 Amgen Tour of California will bode well for his Olympic ambitions to represent the United States at the 2012 Olympic Games in London later this year.
"I rode the course. I videotaped it on the iPad and watched it quite a few times. I knew where I wanted to go hard. I knew when I wanted to go easy - soccer field, petting zoo, make it to the tree line go down easy come up strong. I had a real plan going into this race." With proper planning comes victory.
Zabriskie took over the lead of the eight-day Tour of California race from Peter Sagan of Team Liquigas-Cannondale, who had dominated the race with four consecutive stage victories before he succumbed in the time trial. Sagan, himself said he "didn't feel good from the start," and finished the individual time trial in 52nd place with a time of 39 minutes and 26 seconds.
In what many of the riders called "one of the toughest and longest time trial courses in the history of the Amgen Tour of California," the riders faced a 18.4-mile route, which included several 100-foot rollers. As the riders neared the stage finish in exhausted condition on their time trial bikes, they still had one climb to tackle - China Grade - an eight percent climb to the top and then a hard left. Then, the riders faced a slightly uphill, .44-mile run to the finish.
"I spent a lot of time on the time trial bike in training," Team BMC Racing's van Garderen told Roadcycling.com when asked how he had prepared for today's time trial and added "The course today was a tough one because there were no corners. Pretty much just straight road. Yeah, there were a few ups and downs, but the entire time was in the bars with the exception of the final climb. Just staying in that position for that long is hard on your arms, whereas, if you had a few corners you can kind of sit up and take a bit of a breather. So it was on the power the whole time which was really hard."
When asked to comment on his chances in the general classification, van Garderen