US Postal Team Report

News & Results

09/15/2004| 0 comments
by Thomas Valentinsen
David Zabriskie working hard on the hot roads of Spain. Photo copyright Unipublic.
David Zabriskie working hard on the hot roads of Spain. Photo copyright Unipublic.

US Postal Team Report

Zabriskie wins Vuelta stage; Landis holds lead.

A most deserving Dave Zabriskie , who suffered setbacks the last two years following hard crashes that nearly prematurely ended his cycling career, won today's 11th stage of the Tour of Spain in Caravaca de la Cruz following a massive solo breakaway.  Zabriskie, riding in just the second Grand Tour of his career, rode alone for 162 of the stage's 165 kilometers to finish just over a minute over the charging peloton. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>

Zabriskie's win is the second for the US Postal team at the Tour of Spain and is the team's eighth Grand Tour stage win this year.

 


The USPS' Floyd Landis continues to lead the Vuelta and takes a nine second advantage over Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme's Alejandro Valverde into tomorrow's first of two rest days.  Since winning the stage one team time trial 10 days ago, the USPS has led the Vuelta throughout.  Landis is one of four team members to wear the race's lead golden jersey.

 

For Zabriskie, today's stage was especially sweet following a pair of severe crashes the last 16 months.  In May of 2003 he suffered a broken leg and wrist after being hit by a car while training in Utah while six months ago, he crashed heavily on rough roads at the Redlands Classic.


?I am especially happy for him," said USPS team sports manager Johan Bruyneel.  "After all he has gone through the last two years - the big accident and then the crash at
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Redlands
- it's amazing for him.  He has been riding very strong and the performance of today, the athletic performance, is a huge one.  He attacked from the start and got a free ticket from the peloton thanks to circumstances behind him, as Valverde had crashed and the whole peloton slowed down for a long time.  Then they started chasing but he still stayed clear, and today was a hard course to be alone all day.

 


"Everybody is really happy for him.  He has worked hard to come back and has come back to a good level, but to win a stage at the Tour of Spain, it's huge for him and the team.  He deserves it."


Zabriskie remained a bit shell shocked after the stage.  "I wasn't too sure I was going to stay away until the last kilometer," he said.  When asked about his strategy today, he said, "Usually the attacks go from the gun here and I was at the front and wound it up waiting for the attacks.  I had about 500 meters and was waiting for the attacks to come from behind but then Valverde crashed the the peloton slowed down out of respect for him.  Floyd helped slow it down as well.  I was off the front when it happened so I just kept going."


Zabriskie added that the team's assistant sports manager Dirk Demol had a lot to do with his performance today.  "Dirk kept yelling into my radio - 'Believe in yourself, believe in yourself.'  It helped a lot.  I tried not to get too excited and knew there was

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