Jake’s Journal: My cure for rainy days and Mondays
A spot opened up in Zabriskie's team car – with the always energetic and entertaining team director Matt White driving – and we waited several feet away from the starting line until it was Dave Z's time to start. At that moment Dave rolled out of the chute, Whitey gunned it around the corner like we were the getaway car for a bank heist and the fun had begun. As the race announcer's voice chattered through the radio with constant updates from various riders at various spots on the course – "His time's good for fifth," "We have a new leader," "The current time to beat is 4:36" – we were parting a sea of fans in Zabriskie's wake. And had the police motorcycle not been part of our convoy, I would have been nervous that Whitey would soon lose his license. The next time you think that a guy on a bike can't really go that fast, follow him through hairpin turns on tight streets. You'll see for yourself when I get back in the office and put the video on YouTube.
Aside from the constant honking (for Whitey, pictured here, the car horn is a musical instrument), our car was surprisingly quiet for most of the ride. Zabriskie is a four-time national time trial champion (which is why he gets to race in his Captain America speedsuit) and he's won a stage at every grand tour. He knows what he needs to do. It wasn't until more than 3 1/2 minutes in when Whitey said, almost under his breath, "Yeah, that's fast." Then a few seconds later, with the finish and clock in sight, "Look at this! 13!" – meaning 4:13, Zabriskie had 23 seconds to get to the line down the street. Then it really hit Whitey, "Oh yeah, this is going to be fast." (And remember this is all being said with an awesome Australian accent.) "He's got 10 seconds now, man, fastest time easy. Easy! Easy fastest time, easy, easy…. Thirty… one … two … three … four … yeeaaahhh!" Sure enough, Zabriskie crossed the line in 4:35.56, the fastest time at that point. Unfortunately, two riders who followed edged him by a second or two, but Dave had his spot on the podium, I had an unforgettable experience, and Whitey had reason for more honking.
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