By Andrew Hood
Many were surprised to see Dave Zabriskie’s name absent from the list of riders on the U.S. national squad headed to the world championships next week in Switzerland.
A two-time worlds time trial medalist, Zabriskie said he’s feeling the wear and tear of a long racing season.
“My body is pretty beat up. My Achilles is acting up and I’ve done worlds the last four or five years,” Zabriskie wrote VeloNews in an e-mail. “I need one off every now and then.”
Fresh off winning the Tour of Missouri and claiming his fourth U.S. national time trial title in September, Zabriskie would have been among the top favorites to battle for a medal in the elite men’s time trial race on Sept. 24.
The Utahan has been a consistent performer in worlds time trial competition. His fifth place in the 2004 worlds in Verona helped secure him a contract with CSC.
He skipped the 2005 worlds after his unlucky crash at that year’s Tour de France and then earned silver in the 2006 worlds in Salzburg, only beaten by his then-CSC teammate Fabian Cancellara.
After 12th in 2007, Zabriskie earned his second career worlds medal with bronze last year in Varese.
Without the consistent firepower of Zabriskie, the U.S. team will be leaning on Tom Danielson and Tom Zirbel in the time trial event.
Zabriskie’s loss will certainly be felt. At the national time trial championship, Zabriskie defeated Zirbel, who will join Garmin-Slipstream next year, by 44 seconds over a 20.7-mile course. Ten days later Zabriskie went on to win the 19-mile time trial in Missouri, 30 seconds ahead of 2008 Olympic TT silver medalist Gustav Larsson (Saxo Bank), with Zirbel finishing third, again 44 seconds behind Zabriskie.
U.S. men’s team for world championships
Tom Danielson (Garmin-Slipstream) – Road Race and Time Trial
Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Slipstream) – Road Race
Brent Bookwalter (BMC) – Road Race
Jeff Louder (BMC) – Road Race
Craig Lewis (Columbia-High Road) – Road Race
Andrew Bajadali (Kelly Benefit Strategies) – Road Race
Jason McCartney (Saxo Bank) – Road Race
Tim Duggan (Garmin-Slipstream) – Road Race
Tom Peterson (Garmnin-Slipstream) – Road Race
Tom Zirbel (Bissell) – Time Trial