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.
told Roadcycling.com "Gesink had a good ride and he's going to be difficult to control. He's obviously come back from his injuries on a good level to put in a performance like that."
Van Garderen said he was pleased with his ride though he felt he started too fast in the first half, which featured a tailwind. "I got too excited catching Chris Horner than gauging my own effort, and paid the price on the way back," van Garderen admitted and added "I rallied on the climbs and started putting out good power. But on the false flat, headwind section I was really starting to suffer."
As expected, today's individual time trial shook up the general classification standings. Zabriskie now leads the race in first place, followed by van Garderen in second and Robert Gesink of Team Rabobank. Previous race leader Sagan now sits in 31st place overall.
When asked if he was going to fight to keep the race leader's jersey Zabriskie immediately responded "Definitely. I'm not going to lie down and give it away. DZ is going to fight until he's lying on the ground almost dying. To win would be the biggest win in my life, my career. It would be amazing, but definitely not an easy thing to come by. It would be a beautiful thing."
Also taking place today was the second annual Amgen Tour of California Women's Time Trial Race. Using the same course as the pro men, the women's event disappointingly featured only ten of the world's best female riders, including American Olympic hopeful Kristin Armstrong, who rides for the Exergy TWENTY12 team, but sadly missing powerful time trial riders such as former World Champion Emma Pooley. It was Armstrong who finished with the best time of 39 minutes and 59 seconds. Alison Powers (USA) of the NOW and Novartis for MS placed second with a time of 41 minutes and 23 seconds, and Jade Wilcoxson (USA) of Optum Pro Cycling - powered by Kelly Benefit Strategies took third with a time of 41 minutes and 58 seconds.
"This was one of the hardest courses and conditions I've done in my 10-year career," Kristin Armstrong said after crossing the finish line "The heat was really hard and real heavy. The road was recently repaved and black as black so the heat that came off of that was really hard. It was a true time trial course. A true test of fitness, and I think the strongest person won."
Armstrong, however, seemed satisfied with the race featuring just ten contestants. "Having AEG and Amgen bring women in for the time trial, I can't even thank them enough. It's so awesome to put women on the same stage as the men. It's really nice to mix the men and women. I do a lot of World Cups in Europe and just the hype. I really appreciate what everyone has done and all the sponsors that have backed it."
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