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A Little Chat with Dave Zabriskie
By Cathy Mehl
Date: 9/3/2005
A Little Chat with Dave Zabriskie
Interview with Davie Zabriskie

They say still waters run deep, so we'll apply that saying to Dave Zabriskie as the Daily Peloton catches up with only the third American to wear a yellow jersey at the Tour de France. Take it away, Dave!

Daily Peloton: How has it worked out for you this year being with CSC?

Dave Zabriskie: Pretty good. It's been a good opportunity and a good experience to work with Bjarne and the rest of the guys. It's all a positive experience.

DP: And do you like the team structure overall? I know English is the primary language so that must work out well.

DZ: If I could change things, I would. Just kidding.

I'm putting that down in the interview. Do you have a list of changes for us?

DZ: (Laughs.) There's nothing I would change on this team, except maybe the survival camp.

You didn't like that?

DZ: No, I liked it, it's just that it's hard. We'll do it again in December. We're in shape when we go, it's just that we use different muscles, walking around and all that. Team building.

Where will your camp be this year?

DZ: Oh, I don't know. It's kept a secret, it's a surprise.

How is your hand doing? Are you racing?

DZ: It's okay. Yeah, I'm racing.

Bjarne seems to get the best out of his riders. His methods are obviously effective. Could you give me some examples of his coaching methods?

DZ: Bjarne sees people as humans. He really tries to figure out who the person is and takes the best out of them. He's really good at that.

Do you mean he digs in a little deeper to see what his riders are like underneath?

DZ: Yeah, he digs deeper. And he motivates the individuals and encourages the team to work together.

What did he do to motivate you personally?

DZ: In the beginning I could tell that he loves this team so much. He sees the team as a unit, with everyone together. So you believe his values and his philosophy or you wouldn't be with the team. You become a part of this system, this team, and that motivates you right there.

You were a real media favorite at the Tour this summer. During your days in yellow there was a lot of chatter on internet message boards about how great it was to see you in the jersey. You looked like you were excited, too. What was it like for you to be thrown into that media spotlight? At first you seemed uncomfortable, but as the days went by you seemed to warm up to the idea a bit.

DZ: The first day was a shock. But then I got used to it. It was an experience. It was like, "Wow!" It was something I didn't expect to happen. It was good. (Pauses and smiles.) It was good.

Are you going to the World's?

DZ: Maybe. There is still that possibility. Depends on my hand.

What are your long term cycling goals?

DZ: Retirement. (Laughs.) I'll be with CSC for awhile. I don't set out any real goals. I try to do well in all the races I do.

Do you think you have a career in journalism if things don't work out so well in cycling (referring to his often quirky website)?

DZ: Probably not after listening to me today! I have a headache. But I like it.

Your "on the bike" interviews are unique.

DZ: Yes, and I have some other ideas, because you can't do the same things all the time.

That's right. And there aren't too many others doing what you are doing. It's good to have a niche.

DZ: Yeah. It's good to be creative.

Something tells me you like to be out of the box.

DZ: A lot of guys that race bikes just sit and stare at a wall. They just like to race. I can't stare at the wall that long. I have to do other things.

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