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July 19, 2007

Zabriskie eliminated, outside Stage 11 time limit

CSC's Dave Zabriskie, the US time trial champion, wasn't just sandbagging to try to take the Lanterne Rouge. Zabriskie finished more than 30 minutes behind Stage 11 winner Robbie Hunter, and was eliminated.

The Team CSC website mentions only “persistent knee pain” as the reason for Zabriskie's exit. He must have gotten caught behind even the Moreau peloton, chasing two desperate groups while riding solo.
By the way, this reminds me of one of my primary irritations with the Versus coverage -- they don't seem to address anything that happens after they leave the finish line. I suspect the logistics and time change issues would make this difficult, but there have been several times I've wished they would do an injury update as they finished their “Extended Primetime Coverage,” even if it was from a studio back in the US.

Also:

VeloNews | Stage Notes: Zabriskie heads home; German cycling on the ropes

NYTimes.com | In a Notably Speedy 11th Stage, Hunter Sprints to Victory

Edward Wyatt at The New York Times suggests Zabriskie has hurt his marketability:

Zabriskie’s contract with the CSC team ends this year, meaning that he is looking for a new contract – an effort that is not likely to be helped by his Tour performance this year.

Given Zabriskie's much improved climbing, in evidence at the Giro and Dauphiné Libéré, and his TT cred, I don't think he'll have any trouble finding a new team.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 19, 2007 in 2007 Stage 11, Dave Zabriskie, Top Stories | Permalink

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Comments

I think Dave also has a huge fan base in the US. If teams are trying to market to Americans, he's a perfect choice. Even if he weren't a fabulous rider.

Posted by: Nancy Toby at Jul 19, 2007 3:06:43 PM

With all due respect to the NYT, a fine paper... but Wyatt misses the boat here. Z is one of the best pure time-trialists in the world, he has some improving ability in the mountains, and is as solid as anyone riding world-class tempo. And he's a funny cat.

Having said that, his '07 TdF result takes nothing away from his reputation as far as I'm concerned. His knee and recent workload are well documented.

It is all but a formality now that Z will ride with Vaughters' Chipotle squad in '08 anyway, where he will be welcomed and given his chances next year.

Posted by: asg at Jul 19, 2007 3:44:28 PM

Aaron, thanks for the setup -- I'm actually working on a post about Team Slipstream now, although Zabriskie and Slipstream manager Vaughters both have refused comment until September 1.

Posted by: Frank at Jul 19, 2007 3:50:57 PM

Looking at Wyatt's history at NYT.com, it doesn't look like the TDF (or cycling in general) are his normal areas of coverage. He's probably unaware of the work and sacrifices that the non-leaders are asked to perform on these teams. The TDF's length can certainly leave its mark on a working rider's performance. Looking forward to seeing what Z's up to next.

Posted by: aharden at Jul 20, 2007 8:10:05 AM

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