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This is interesting as Basso almost equaled his best time ever on the climb and Zabriske still beat him. It appears our man Dave can climb.

Basso Cracks Winter Record

Bjarne Riis and his Team CSC squadra are deep into their first true training camp, based in Lucca (Toscana). Yesterday Riis, Team Manager, took the boys to the foot of the Monte Serra to perform an annual test. The Monte Serra is a proving ground for many cyclists in Toscana and also for Team CSC during their January camp. Ivan Basso will often come to Monte Serra alone during the season to test himself on difficult 6.3K climb.

Yesterday Basso (28) cracked his personal best wintertime record with a time of 16'40", 30 seconds faster than last January's time of 17'30". (His fastest ascent of the Monte Serra is 16'10", before the start of the 2005 Tour de France.) "Every year I depart with a higher level. This confirms that at 28 years I am near full physical maturity," said the Varesino. "Above all I am satisfied with my new time because it is very good considering of the small amount of training and that I am currently three kilograms over my ideal weight of 69."

Riis started the CSC squadra at the foot of the Monte Serra and let the boys duke it out. The selection was made and soon there were only Iñigo Cuesta, Nicki Sørensen, Brian Vandborg, David Zabriskie and Basso. Then by the last kilometer it was only Zabriskie and Basso, and il Americano actually topped the Italian's time. Bravo Zabriskie. He is further advanced in winter form than Basso because his immediate aim will be in late February at the Tour of California. Basso's goals are conquering the Giro d'Italia in May and then Tour de France in July.
 

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Not doubting Zabriske's ability, but he ain't no Basso. He's just peaking earlier for the Tour of California.

He's a gutsy rider but he's a way to go before he's a GT contender.
 

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chrislh said:
i agree, Z's peeking now for Cali, when is Bassso supposed to peak. Oh yea, the Tour in July!!
Read the article, Z's time was less than 30 seconds slower than Basso's best time right before the Tour last year and I guarentee you Zabriske is nowhere near a "true" peak, nobody peaks in February.
 

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I like Dave Z - his one line interviews are class - and this season could be a breakthrough for him, building on last year's solid foundations. Any news that CSC are going well, as are T-Mobile, can only be good for the sport
 

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He is just in better form earlier, and surely Basso just let him have the victory as he lacks a need to SHOW he is better than little Z, he just IS!
 

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OnTheRivet said:
Read the article, Z's time was less than 30 seconds slower than Basso's best time right before the Tour last year and I guarentee you Zabriske is nowhere near a "true" peak, nobody peaks in February.
But Basso has nearly 4 months before he's looking to peak.

Basso, is 40 seconds faster than this time last year, and within 30 seconds of his best ever time NOW! If he keeps improving as the Giro & Tour approach, he'll be awesome.

Zabriskie, whilst an exciting rider, has 'only' won the prologue and worn the yellow jersey. He has yet to confirm his potential after losing the jersey by making a mistake in the TTT. It was bad luck, but Basso has finished on the podium twice.
 

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Zabriskie is a solid rider, and great support for Basso. I've not seen one statement from him that makes me think he's looking to replace Basso right now. He's doing just what he should be, learning, growing, and supporting his leader. In a couple years when Basso retires, then Zabriskie will be ready to take his place (if he can keep himself out of the hospital, that is).
 

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Saw that too and thought it was impressive. Dave Z is definitely a talented rider and a good future GC contender. He can climb well and is also good against the clock. This year he rides for Basso. We'll see in a couple of years when it is contract time if anyone is willing to give him a shot at being a team leader.
 

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yeah he'll be a top lieutenant

and possibly get the nod for the vuelta if he has the legs left. Bjarne if smart would save Dave for the Tour and then captain him for the Vuelta. This way CSC would have a 3 tour threat.
 

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I have always liked Dave Z. I think the best has yet to come. Given his team and the experience of a guy like Bobby J. to help out, I think he will really take off as the years go by.
 

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atpjunkie said:
and possibly get the nod for the vuelta if he has the legs left. Bjarne if smart would save Dave for the Tour and then captain him for the Vuelta. This way CSC would have a 3 tour threat.
As long as Sastre is around, I don't see Dave Z leading CSC in the Vuelta
 

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I think Dave Z. has more potential to be a GT rider than Tommy D. In the past it seems to be easier for a tt rider to learn to climb than vice-versa. To me, Dave Z.'s limitations seems to be his his head. According to Cyclesport, he wasn't a happy camper at the CSC survivor camp and neither was Basso.
 
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