Jamis/Sutter Home says Zirbel signing is important for team
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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Jamis/Sutter Home says Zirbel signing is important for team

by Shane Stokes at 2:43 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
American TT specialist wants to head to Europe next season

Tom ZirbelThe US-based Jamis/Sutter Home team has expressed confidence after its signing of Tom Zirbel, saying that he gives an additional strength to the setup and will enable it to be competitive across a range of events.

“With Tom, our team is complete,” said directeur sportif Sebastian Alexandre. “Tyler Wren, who’s known for his climbing skills, is racing very strong this season. NRC Champion Luis Amaran, of course, is formidable and the Borrajo brothers are our proven sprinters.”

“Now we have the talent to win any type of race, which means our prospects for top GC finishes in stage races improve significantly.”

“Tom is recognized as one of the best time trialists in the world,” said Alexandre. “We are very excited that he will be riding in Jamis/Sutter Home colors this season.”

Zirbel recently returned to racing after serving a year and a half of a two year suspension. He was handed a 24 month sanction due to his positive test for DHEA, then later given a reduction by USADA due to his assistance with other cases. He continues to maintain his innocence. “There are a couple of possibilities. The only thing I’m certain of is that I didn’t knowingly put something in my body that was illegal,” he told VeloNation in a lengthy interview published today.

He was second in the 2009 US TT nationals, but lost that plus his fourth place in the world championship time trial when the DHEA positive became known. He also lost out on a contract with the Garmin team for 2010.

Zirbel has outlined a number of goals to VeloNation. He is hoping to be allowed ride the Tour of California with his new squad; his admission will depend on the race organisers accepting him after he wasn’t included on the provisional list.

After that, he’s aiming big in the national TT championships, and wants to chase bigger targets after that. “If I’d to be honest, I would be disappointed if I didn’t get a medal. I believe in myself, I should be up there.”

“I’m definitely motivated to see how far I can go and that’s sort of why I made a choice to try to go to Europe again. I know it’s the hard road, I know that I can do this domestic racing here and be happy and do well, but I just want to challenge myself with the hardest races in the world.”

Read more here about Zirbel’s experience of the past year and a half plus his plans going forward.

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