|Young Postie Zabriskie in crash...||Brooks|
May 29, 2003 7:11 AM
|From the Salt Lake Tribune:
Wreck Ends Cyclist's Season
Salt Lake City native David Zabriskie's ability and sense of humor have made him a favorite on the U.S. Postal Service team. (Francisco Kjolseth/The Salt Lake Tribune)
By Michael Yount
The Salt Lake Tribune
Professional cyclist David Zabriskie's promising season ended Monday after a collision in Mill Creek Canyon. Zabriskie, a teammate of Lance Armstrong, suffered breaks to his left leg and left wrist along with multiple abrasions.
"We don't know the severity of the [leg] break yet," said U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team spokesman Dan Osipow. "We know it was below the knee on his left leg."
The Salt Lake City native was descending on his bicycle through Mill Creek Canyon at approximately 30 mph. The driver of a Nissan Xterra pulled in front of him, leading to a "near head-on collision," according to U.S. Postal reports. Zabriskie was wearing a helmet.
He underwent surgery on his leg Wednesday at University Hospital and will also have pins inserted in his wrist.
After visiting the hospital Tuesday night, friend and occasional training partner Burke Swindlehurst pieced together some details. Zabriskie "made eye contact with the driver," Swindlehurst said, but apparently the driver misjudged the cyclist's speed.
Swindlehurst added. "From what I understand, his season is over and that's going to be tough."
Zabriskie is considered a top U.S. cycling prospect. At just 24, he was a long shot to make the nine-member Tour de France squad that will aid Armstrong this July in his bid for a record-tying fifth title, but "the Tour de France is definitely in his future," Osipow said.
He is the youngest member of the Postal team and recent success, combined with a quirky sense of humor has caught the attention of teammates and coaches.
"Dave has a very interesting personality and a very unique sense of humor," Osipow said of reports that include a hilarious lounge-singer act. "It's a refreshing break from the ultra-serious cyclist mentality. . . . Everyone from Lance to the coaching staff enjoys Dave's personality."
As for his riding, Osipow pointed to Zabriskie's completion of his first Grand Tour, the three-week Tour of Spain last September, as a major breakthrough.
Zabriskie was home nursing a minor wrist injury suffered last week during the first stage of the Tour of Belgium. But earlier this month, he placed fifth in the "Four Days of Dunkerque" in France and earned the "top young rider" designation.
"It's a really hard race. I know the stage where he moved into fifth place," said Jeff Louder, another young Salt Lake City pro. "It's up and down all day -- it's something like 4,000 meters of climbing along the coast."
He also finished fifth in the Tour of Georgia, considered the top U.S. stage race, this season.
Zabriskie's strength lies in time trials, but his ability to climb not only make him an asset as a future "domestique" -- or supporting player -- for team leader Armstrong, but also drew comparisons to the world's best cyclist.
"Dave climbs really well, he can time trial and ride the flats well," Osipow said. "He has all the traits of the team leaders."
|Exactly what happened to me, very unfortunate "nm"||CARBON110|
May 29, 2003 8:25 AM
|I was there when it happpened...||Dave W inUT|
May 29, 2003 9:31 AM
|I was actually there when it happpened. I was riding with my girlfriend and she needed a break so we stopped. A minute or two later we heard the crash and a lady scream. The rider, who I didn't know at the time was Zabriskie, was amazingly calm and was sitting there holding his wrist saying that he had broken it. Someone in a car drove down the canyon to call 911 (no cell reception there). Since there were other people there and there wasn't anything I could do I continued on. Though not his fault he definitely contributed to the crash. The canyon was as busy as I have ever seen it. There were tons of cars at all the trailheads and camgrounds and no drivers pay enough attention to cyclists so he really should have been going slower around all those areas. Where he got hit was near a trailhead were there were tons of cars parked at an angle alongside the road.|| |