Zabriskie confirms Il Lombardia is final race as a professional rider
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Sunday, October 06, 2013

Zabriskie confirms Il Lombardia is final race as a professional rider

by Shane Stokes at 5:59 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
American Garmin-Sharp TT specialist to retire: ‘It is time’

Dave ZabriskieSpeaking at Il Lombardia this morning, Dave Zabriskie has confirmed that he is retiring and that today’s Classic would be his final race as a professional rider.

The multiple US time trial champion’s team-mates posted messages on Twitter yesterday which suggested that his career had come to an end.

Zabriskie lined out this morning at the start of Il Lombardia and, speaking to VeloNation at the Garmin-Sharp team bus, he confirmed that he was hanging up his wheels.

“This is it,” he stated, when asked if Il Lombardia marked his final race.

Garmin-Sharp team-mate Tyler Farrar was looking for a contract and finally confirmed yesterday that he would stay with the squad. Many riders have been left wondering about 2014 due to the winding-up of several pro squads including Vacansoleil-DCM, Euskaltel Euskadi, Sojasun, Champion System and others.

As Garmin-Sharp team manager Jonathan Vaughters told VeloNation recently, the market is swamped with riders. It means that while teams have a wide range to choose from, for individual riders themselves it is a tense time.

Asked if he had decided of his own volition to retire, or if he had been unable to secure a deal for 2014, Zabriskie didn’t elaborate. Often a rider of few words, he simply stated “I think it is time.”

In a sport where an increasing number of riders compete until their late thirties, the American rider is relatively young at 34 years of age.

Zabriskie is a five time winner of the US national time trial championships and also was part of victorious team time trial squads in the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia. His solo victories against the clock include stages of the Tour de Romandie, Tour of California, Tour of California and Tour de Langkawi. He also won the time trial and overall in the 2009 Tour of Missouri.

Other victories such as stage wins in the Tour de France, Vuelta a España and Giro d’Italia were scratched from his palmares when Zabriskie admitted to USADA that he used banned substances with the US Postal Service team. His testimony was deemed to be helpful in the case against Lance Armstrong and the team owners, and he was given a reduced six month ban as a result.

Team-mates Tom Danielson and Christian Vande Velde also received the same suspensions.

Zabriskie returned to competition in March of this year but his building of form was halted when he crashed prior to the start of the time trial in the Tour of California. The broken collarbone he suffered meant that he missed the US time trial championship plus the chance of taking another title.

He later returned to racing and placed eighth in both the Tour of Alberta and in the world championship time trial.

Zabriskie’s retirement means that the peloton loses one of its more unusual characters. Known for his dry humour and love of comic books, Zabriskie modelled himself on Captain America and as US TT champion, had a helmet and team kit made out to look like the Marvel character’s costume.

He will now weigh up what he will do next. “Everyone likes to ask that,” he smiled today. “I don’t know. We will see…”

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