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Zabriskie leads American sweep at Dauphiné TT

By Andrew Hood • Published

By Andrew Hood

Zabriskie again showed that he is among the world's best time trialists

Zabriskie again showed that he is among the world’s best time trialists

Photo: Graham Watson

Team CSC’s Dave Zabriskie did what he did best to lead an American sweep of the top four places in Wednesday’s 43km individual time trial at the 58th Dauphine Libere.

Zabriskie was fastest to win for the second time in four days, but it was an American showcase in cycling’s Tour de France dress rehearsal, with Floyd Landis (Phonak), Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner) and George Hincapie (Discovery Channel) finishing two-three-four.

“For some reason, the Americans are talented in time trialing,” said Zabriskie, who’s now among the best in the world now in the race of truth. “I have a theory. When Americans start cycling, we usually ride a lot by ourselves, while the Europeans always ride in groups. The Americans are just more used to riding alone.”

Zabriskie was in a class by himself and the 27-year-old rider from Salt Lake City ripped the undulating course in 52 minutes, 48 seconds (52.48kph) to move to second overall to 2:47 back of race leader Philippe Gilbert (Francaise Des Jeux).

Zabriskie was fastest at both time splits and beat Landis by 53 seconds. Leipheimer stopped the clock third at 1:17 seconds slower with Hincapie doing well in fourth at 1:35 slower.

Overnight leader Gilbert kept his leader’s jersey, but saw his lead of 5:22 whittled down to 2:47 going into Thursday’s climbing finish atop the fearsome Mont Ventoux.

“When the course is so challenging and hard, it’s not uncommon for a strong rider to open up gaps, so I’m not surprised to put that much time into people,” Zabriskie said. “That’s what I am out here to do, so that’s cool.”

Third-place Leipheimer is in good position, too.

Third-place Leipheimer is in good position, too.

Photo: Graham Watson

Zabriskie was cool as cool can be on the challenging course that provided a solid test for the time trial specialists ahead of next month’s Tour. He rode the course in the morning and then drove behind teammate Lars Bak for a closer look. He obviously liked what he saw.

“Dave is so beautiful on the bike, it’s a pleasure to watch him race,” gushed Team CSC sport director Alain Gallopin. “He rode a perfect race. It was only until the strong headwinds that I saw him pushing too hard a gear that I even had to say anything to him on the loudspeaker.”

The course opened with the Cat. 4 Cote de Marches, with a climbing section at 6 percent between eight and nine kilometres. There was a quick descent and a short punch before a gradual drop to an unrated climb at the Cote de la Martinette and another smaller rise at the Cote des Rattiers at the day’s second time check.

From there it was a mostly flat run back to the start-finish against a brisk head wind humming down the Rhone Valley. The final kilometer featured a swinging zigzag turn off a rapid descent at 500m to go with a sweeping right turn at the finish.

For Landis, winner this year of the Tour of California, Paris-Nice and Tour de Georgia, the strong ride positioned him for a run at the overall if the cards fall his way.

“The most important thing was that Floyd had a good time trial today, which he did. Zabriskie is a specialist and compared to the other Tour riders who are here, Floyd was very good,” said Phonak sport director John Lelangue. “We always said the Dauphine is not just a training ride for us, so we will wait to see what happens in the coming days. The race is really just beginning.”

The time trial provided a strong barometer of where the powers stand ahead of the Tour. Behind there Americans, other Tour contenders showed their colors.

Great form - Zabriskie's form matches his strength

Great form – Zabriskie’s form matches his strength

Photo: AFP

Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana-Wurth) was hoping for more at 17th at 2:41 back while Yaroslav Popovych (Discovery Channel) defended well in eighth at 1:57 back. Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d’Epargne) continued to show progress in ninth at 2:03 back.

“I saved myself for the end because I knew it would be hard against the wind,” Valverde said. “I thought I did okay because this was a course for the specialists. It’s not my speciality, but it gives me motivation for the future.”

Valverde comes in 9th

Valverde comes in 9th

Photo: Graham Watson

For the Dauphine, the immediate future includes Thursday’s 186km fourth stage from Tain-L’Hermitage to Mont Ventoux. The course runs straight down the Rhone Valley, hitting two Cat. 4 speed bumps along the way, then hits the imposing Ventoux climb from the classic Bedoin side.

Gilbert, a Belgian escape artist, who grabbed the lead in Tuesday’s breakaway, said he doesn’t expect to be able to withstand the lean climbers once they take over.

“Today was for specialists in time trial and tomorrow a specialist of another kind. I will do the best to follow the attacks, but I am sure to get isolated,” he said. “High mountains aren’t really my thing, but I don’t know my limits yet, so I am taking it day by day.”

When asked if his Dauphine was now over, Zabriskie joked that he thought the race ended Sunday, but also conceded that he’s not entering favored ground.

“I will try to do the best I can,” Zabriskie said. “I’ve never ridden Ventoux or the other big mountains in France. In May, I trained in the high mountains so I hope that will pay off. It’s also difficult for me when those little Spanish guys go crazy on these climbs.”

One of those Spanish guys is Iban Mayo (Euskaltel-Euskadi), the 2004 champion who finished a non-descript 34th at 3:31 back Wednesday. Team sources say Mayo is feeling as good as he felt in 2004, when he blitzed the Dauphine to beat Lance Armstrong by two minutes on a climbing time trial up Ventoux.

1. David Zabriskie (USA), CSC, at 52:48.65 (48.854 km/h),
2. Floyd Landis (USA), Phonak, at 0:53.00
3. Levi Leipheimer (USA), Gerolsteiner, at 1:16.50
4. George Hincapie (USA), Discovery Channel, at 1:34.83
5. Bert Grabsch (G), Phonak, at 1:38.12
6. Marco Pinotti (I), Saunier Duval-Prodir, at 1:54.00
7. Vladimir Gusev (Rus), Discovery Channel, at 1:54.26
8. Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr), Discovery Channel, at 1:57.34
9. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), Caisse d’Epargne, at 2:02.87
10. Sebastian Lang (G), Gerolsteiner, at 2:03.31

Photo Gallery


1. David Zabriskie (USA), CSC, at 52:48.65 (48.854 km/h),

2. Floyd Landis (USA), Phonak, at 0:53.00

3. Levi Leipheimer (USA), Gerolsteiner, at 1:16.50

4. George Hincapie (USA), Discovery Channel, at 1:34.83

5. Bert Grabsch (G), Phonak, at 1:38.12

6. Marco Pinotti (I), Saunier Duval-Prodir, at 1:54.00

7. Vladimir Gusev (Rus), Discovery Channel, at 1:54.26

8. Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr), Discovery Channel, at 1:57.34

9. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears, at 2:02.87

10. Sebastian Lang (G), Gerolsteiner, at 2:03.31

11. Denis Menchov (Rus), Rabobank, at 2:04.92

12. Nicki Sorensen (Den), CSC, at 2:16.94

13. Egoi Martinez (Sp), Discovery Channel, at 2:23.10

14. Brian Vandborg (Den), CSC, at 2:28.50

15. Andriy Grivko (Ukr), Milram, at 2:32.01

16. Philippe Gilbert (B), Française des Jeux, at 2:39.91

17. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz), Astaná-Würth, at 2:40.89

18. Sylvain Chavanel (F), Cofidis , at 2:45.25

19. Jose Azevedo (Por), Discovery Channel, at 2:48.82

20. Francisco Mancebo (Sp), AG2R, at 2:49.87

21. Sergio Paulinho (Por), Astaná-Würth, at 2:53.83

22. Bernhard Kohl (A),T-Mobile, at 2:55.04

23. Mikel Astarloza (Sp), AG2R, at 2:58.54

24. Christopher Horner (USA), Davitamon-Lotto, at 3:01.21

25. Florent Brard (F), Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears, at 3:03.56

26. Ryder Hesjedal (Can), Phonak, at 3:09.14

27. Joost Posthuma (N), Rabobank, at 3:09.59

28. Didier Rous (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 3:09.83

29. Stijn Devolder (B), Discovery Channel, at 3:11.39

30. Carlos Barredo (Sp), Astaná-Würth, at 3:12.95

31. Oscar Pereiro Sio (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears, at 3:22.40

32. Christophe Moreau (F), AG2R, at 3:26.69

33. Koos Moerenhout (N), Phonak, at 3:30.07

34. Iban Mayo (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 3:31.03

35. Volodymir Gustov (Ukr), CSC, at 3:33.70

36. Peter Mazur (Pol), Saunier Duval-Prodir, at 3:35.18

37. Bradley Wiggins (GB), Cofidis, at 3:35.90

38. Pieter Mertens (B), Davitamon-Lotto, at 3:43.05

39. Michael Barry (Can), Discovery Channel, at 3:46.10

40. Manuel Quinziato (I), Liquigas, at 3:46.18

41. Lars Bak (Den), CSC, at 3:46.38

42. Oscar Sevilla (Sp), T-Mobile, at 3:46.55

43. Thomas Dekker (N), Rabobank, at 3:46.92

44. Christophe Edaleine (F), Credit Agricole, at 3:48.01

45. Benoit Vaugrenard (F), Française des Jeux, at 3:56.79

46. Leonardo Piepoli (I), Saunier Duval-Prodir, at 4:01.60

47. Nicolas Jalabert (F), Phonak, at 4:01.99

48. Erik Dekker (N), Rabobank, at 4:02.89

49. Jan Kuyckx (B), Davitamon-Lotto, at 4:03.06

50. Nicolas Fritsch (F), Saunier Duval-Prodir, at 4:03.15

51. Iker Camano (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 4:13.19

52. Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz), Credit Agricole, at 4:14.17

53. Kurt Arvesen (Nor), CSC, at 4:16.04

54. Pietro Caucchioli (I), Credit Agricole, at 4:16.11

55. Benjamin Noval (Sp), Discovery Channel, at 4:17.30

56. Eddy Mazzoleni (I), T-Mobile, at 4:17.81

57. Pierrick Fedrigo (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 4:22.59

58. Daniel Becke (G), Milram, at 4:22.87

59. Cyril Dessel (F), AG2R, at 4:23.42

60. Thomas Voeckler (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 4:24.00

61. Moises Duenas (Sp), Agritubel, at 4:28.73

62. Thor Hushovd (Nor), Credit Agricole, at 4:29.88

63. Xabier Zandio (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears, at 4:32.36

64. Stuart O'grady (Aus), CSC, at 4:33.25

65. Vincenzo Nibali (I), Liquigas, at 4:37.74

66. Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz), Astaná-Würth, at 4:38.40

67. Remy Di Gregorio (F), Française des Jeux, at 4:38.42

68. Jose Garcia Acosta (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears, at 4:41.30

69. Sylvester Szmyd (Pol), Lampre-Fondital, at 4:41.49

70. Jose Luis Arrieta (Sp), AG2R, at 4:43.62

71. Daniele Nardello (I), T-Mobile, at 4:44.53

72. Fabian Wegmann (G), Gerolsteiner, at 4:46.69

73. Nicolas Portal (F), Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears, at 4:47.10

74. Peter Luttenberger (Aut), CSC, at 4:55.53

75. Stephane Auge (F), Cofidis, at 4:56.94

76. Cedric Vasseur (F), Quick Step-Innergetic, at 5:05.24

77. Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz), Milram, at 5:09.72

78. Jerome Pineau (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 5:10.37

79. Imanol Erviti (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears, at 5:11.27

80. Aitor Hernandez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 5:13.39

81. Filippo Pozzato (I), Quick Step-Innergetic, at 5:16.37

82. Stephan Schreck (G), T-Mobile, at 5:16.46

83. Ludovic Turpin (F), AG2R, at 5:17.43

84. Pedro Horrillo (Sp), Rabobank, at 5:17.59

85. Juan Miguel Mercado (Sp), Agritubel, at 5:19.24

86. David Arroyo (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears, at 5:20.25

87. Stephane Goubert (F), AG2R, at 5:20.55

88. Leonardo Bertagnolli (I), Cofidis, at 5:22.29

89. Ronny Scholz (G), Gerolsteiner, at 5:23.61

90. Florian Stalder (Swi), Phonak, at 5:23.76

91. Walter Beneteau (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 5:24.55

92. Christophe Le Mevel (F), Credit Agricole, at 5:28.87

93. Wim Van Huffel (B), Davitamon-Lotto, at 5:35.82

94. Marco Marzano (I), Lampre-Fondital, at 5:36.46

95. Wilfried Cretskens (B), Quick Step-Innergetic, at 5:37.30

96. Grischa Niermann (G), Rabobank, at 5:37.67

97. Uros Murn (Slo), Phonak, at 5:44.85

98. Claudio Corioni (I), Lampre-Fondital, at 5:49.32

99. Matteo Bono (I), Lampre-Fondital, at 5:49.49

100. Peter Wrolich (Aut), Gerolsteiner, at 6:01.98

101. Christophe Laurent (F), Agritubel, at 6:03.88

102. Josep Jufre (Sp), Davitamon-Lotto, at 6:04.80

103. Scott Davis (Aus), T-Mobile, at 6:07.32

104. Sebastian Siedler (G), Milram, at 6:07.68

105. Alessand Spezialetti (I), Liquigas, at 6:08.09

106. Remmert Wielinga (N), Quick Step-Innergetic, at 6:10.78

107. Frank Hoj (Den), Gerolsteiner, at 6:13.14

108. Rony Martias (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 6:16.34

109. Anthony Charteau (F), Credit Agricole, at 6:16.80

110. Alessandro Vanotti (I), Milram, at 6:20.68

111. Inaki Isasi (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 6:21.26

112. Jorg Ludewig (G), T-Mobile, at 6:27.34

113. Cedric Coutouly (F), Agritubel, at 6:28.84

114. Marco Milesi (I), Liquigas, at 6:34.39

115. Samuel Dumoulin (F), AG2R, at 6:35.39

116. Benoit Salmon (F), Agritubel, at 6:36.72

117. Frederic Guesdon (F), Française des Jeux, at 6:37.12

118. Dariusz Baranowski (Pol), Astaná-Würth, at 6:37.68

119. Aketza Pena Iza (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 6:37.76

120. Christophe Mengin (F), Française des Jeux, at 6:44.57

121. Bastiaan Giling (N), T-Mobile, at 6:47.23

122. Sebastien Joly (F), Française des Jeux, at 6:47.82

123. Joseba Albizu (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 6:48.35

124. Mark Renshaw (Aus), Credit Agricole, at 6:48.53

125. Thorwald Veneberg (N), Rabobank, at 6:49.48

126. Matteo Carrara (I), Lampre-Fondital, at 6:57.83

127. Angel Gomez (Sp), Saunier Duval-Prodir, at 6:58.69

128. Mauro Da Dalto (I), Liquigas, at 7:04.09

129. Mads Kaggestad (Nor), Credit Agricole, at 7:07.59

130. Andrea Moletta (I), Gerolsteiner, at 7:12.34

131. Francesco Failli (I), Liquigas, at 7:13.22

132. Guido Trentin (I), Saunier Duval-Prodir, at 7:13.61

133. Riccardo Ricco (I), Saunier Duval-Prodir, at 7:18.86

134. Nick Ingels (B), Davitamon-Lotto, at 7:21.63

135. Andy Flickinger (F),Bouygues Telecom, at 7:26.00

136. Bingen Fernandez (Sp), Cofidis, at 7:28.46

137. Unai Osa (Sp), Astaná-Würth, at 7:30.07

138. Frederic Bessy (F), Cofidis, at 7:33.04

139. Addy Engels (N), Quick Step-Innergetic, at 7:33.05

140. Sergio Ghisalberti (I), Milram, at 7:33.51

141. Preben Van Hecke (B), Davitamon-Lotto, at 7:34.35

142. Jukka Vastaranta (Fin), Rabobank, at 7:35.68

143. Christophe Rinero (F), Saunier Duval-Prodir, at 7:41.32

144. Benoit Sinner (F), Agritubel, at 7:42.22

145. Nicolas Inaudi (F), Cofidis, at 7:42.48

146. Jose Rojas Gil (Sp), Astaná-Würth, at 7:44.91

147. Eduardo Gonzalo (Sp), Agritubel, at 7:46.10

148. Koldo Fernandez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 7:51.38

149. Morris Possoni (I), Lampre-Fondital, at 8:00.54

150. Danilo Napolitano (I), Lampre-Fondital, at 8:02.58

151. Francis Mourey (F), Française des Jeux, at 8:03.25

152. Francesco Chicchi (I), Quick Step-Innergetic, at 8:14.57

153. Ivan Santaromita (I), Quick Step-Innergetic, at 8:16.01

154. Nicola Loda (I), Liquigas, at 8:29.20

155. David Moncoutie (F), Cofidis, at 8:34.40

156. David Kopp (G), Gerolsteiner, at 8:42.40

157. Mathieu Claude (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 8:55.06

158. Guido Trenti (USA), Quick Step-Innergetic, at 9:11.64

159. Marco Righetto (I), Liquigas, at 9:19.27

160. Hans Dekkers (N), Agritubel, at 9:22.35

161. Iban Iriondo (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 9:44.85