Voigt turns back the clock to take second in Tour of California TT
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Friday, May 18, 2012

Voigt turns back the clock to take second in Tour of California TT

by VeloNation Press at 6:09 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of California
 
Superb ride for veteran RadioShack Nissan rider

Jens VoigtWhile he remains one of the strongest riders at dragging a bunch along, as well as the one of the most exciting to watch, it’s been quite some time since Jens Voigt won a time trial; the 2007 Deutschland Tour, in fact.

Because of that, seeing the 40 year old German post the provisional fastest time in yesterday’s Amgen Tour of California Bakersfield TT was a big surprise.

And while the RadioShack Nissan rider was subsequently bumped down a spot by Dave Zabriskie (Garmin Barracuda), who scorched the courses and went 23 seconds better, Voigt held onto his second place overall and beat many of the world’s top riders.

“I actually surprised myself out there today. I didn’t even go see the course this morning when some of the others did,” he admitted afterwards. “They told me about it and I looked at the map so I knew what to expect. At the halfway point when I saw what my time was, I knew it was all-in on the way back.”

Voigt cranked up the power and blasted home from there, beating previous leader Maarten Tjallingii by 29 seconds and grabbing that provisional best time.

Having gone so close to his first TT win in five years, he might be excused for mulling over the result and wondering what might have been. He didn’t check out the course; in contrast, Zabriskie said that he rode it earlier this year, filmed it, and then studied the footage several times since then to work out where he could gain time.

Voigt played down such talk, believing that he had got the most out of himself. “There was nowhere I could really change the way I rode the course. After the hard work on the stage yesterday, normally today would be a day I’d take off,” he said. “I did sleep in, had a good breakfast and later a good warm-up. Things fell in line for me. It was good for me.”

Of course, one difference might be if he had done less work in the previous days; that would have left him fresher and could have seen him go faster. However he initially came on the race as support for defending champion Chris Horner, riding selflessly to pave the way for the American’s push towards a second title.

As things turned out, Voigt beat Horner by a full two minutes and 27 seconds yesterday. He’s clearly in very strong form and with the general classification now out of reach for the American, the German will hopefully get a green light to go on the attack in the days ahead.


Also see: Stage report and highlights video

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