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Jul. 3, 2008
DZ Predicts…
Here at the office, DZ fans are a special breed, just like the rider they root for (Dave Zabriskie). DZ fans zip through the halls competitively trying to get to their next meeting first; they drink way more than their share of the coffee; they laugh with just a touch of "crazy;" they willingly wrestle with Ginger the bulldog (who happens to be just slightly unpredictable enough to make things interesting); and they cheer for Dave every time he does something noteworthy on or off his bike. Years ago, Dave showed up at a TCB Media Center event and took the stage as a special guest to tell us all about how he won stage 11 of the ’04 Vuelta a España in an oh-so-impressive 162km solo breakaway to chalk up his first Grand Tour stage win. He handled the last-minute, surprise request to take the stage like a true pro—even weathered the goofy intro music we played for him like a champ.

I met Dave through a teammate of mine years ago who used to race with DZ back in Salt Lake City. I’ve heard a lot of stories about how a young Zabriskie used to come out and beat up on folks at the Utah races. It’s unfortunate that Dave won’t be duking it out with other riders on the roads of France this month—a tumble in the Giro left him a little worse for wear and he’ll be sitting it out for the Tour de France with his focus now turned on the Olympics in Beijing. Congrats to Dave on the Olympic Team selection. Some shiny Olympic jewelry would certainly look sweet with that moustache.

But like any TCB athlete worth his weight in CLIFShot Bloks, Dave might be down with an injury but he’s definitely not out of the TdF mix. I’ve asked Dave to send his TdF thoughts our way from time to time—bike racing can be pretty tough to predict, but I can confidently predict that Dave’s educated guesses will be worth a look:
Happy July 1. It's the final countdown to the start of the tour on July 5. Most of the riders are probably traveling to the race hotel today or tomorrow. Out of the 4 Americans doing the tour the one that would bring a few fireworks for the 4th would be VandeVelde; he loves fireworks and I can see him knocking on Hincapie’s door on the 4th saying, “Come on, dude, let's go celebrate our independence!” or something. I see the 4 of them and some American staff walking around the corner of the hotel… when they run into Millar and say, “Hey, come join us,” but he doesn't know what he's in for and when the fun starts he gets a big titty-twister and a slap because he's British and that's who we had to fight for our independence. Oh, man, that sounds like the best 4th ever; it's a damn shame I won't be there.

The race is so close now. You can start checking the weather for the area of the start; as of this morning, it looks like they might get a little weather. If the roads are wet it stresses the peloton out more than they already are so it could be a very nervous first stage. As far as the race itself goes, it looks like there should be some good field sprints—my favorite for those is Cavendish; he can kick it really fast, he should win at least one stage. Julian Dean, Magnus,Thor, Steegmans, Zabel, Cancellara, Friere and Hunter are the other names that come to mind at the moment. For the GC, I have to agree with everyone else that Valverde and Evans are favorites but a lot can happen at the tour. Menchov should be up there in the overall, too.

I think it will be fun to watch the battle for the white jersey especially if it comes down to a battle between Andy Schleck, Ricco and Trent Lowe. I know Andy is young, but he is my dark horse pick for the Tour and, if not this year, it's only a matter of time before he wins the race someday. For team Garmin, I think the plan would be to be aggressive and go with the breaks, keep Millar and CV out of trouble until the first TT. If things go well maybe they could get the jersey for a few days; that would be huge for the team so I know they will be gunning for it.

And lastly, a couple other things that are worth a look:
  • Dave happens to hold the claim to fame of being the first pro cyclist to ever pose with The Clif Bar Bird. How many pro cyclists wish they could say that?

  • Dave has started the Yield to Life campaign. Yield to Life is a non-profit organization devoted to creating a safer environment for cyclists and, by so doing, encouraging more people to ride for their own health, the good of the environment and the well being of society. He says, "We all travel life’s roads. I stand before you to ask for your cooperation in providing safe space for cyclists. When you see a cyclist on the road, please, yield to life."

  • And for all you riders out there who don’t want to yield to a saddle sore, check out DZNuts. As Dave would say, “Protect your Junk!” Because, let’s face it, Ginger the slightly unpredictable bull dog probably can’t protect that kind of junk.
Posted by:
Le Sensation American
Team Clif Bar

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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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