The 2012 men's and women's USA Cycling time trial champions were injured in separate accidents Friday and will be unable to defend their titles when the Volkswagen USA Cycling Professional Championships come to Chattanooga next weekend.
David Zabriskie, a five-time U.S. time trial champion, crashed during warm-ups in San Jose, Calif., before the time trial stage at the Amgen Tour of California. Zabriskie dropped out of that race and was diagnosed with a broken clavicle.
Zabriskie's team manager at Team Garmin-Sharp, Jonathan Vaughters, told Cyclingnews.com that the rider would have surgery Tuesday and would not be able to compete in Saturday's time trial at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga.
Also Friday in the women's time trial at the Tour of California, 2012 U.S. women's time trial champion Amber Neben crashed hard during a fast, twisty descent in gusting winds.
Neben told Cyclingnews.com that she has a broken hip and ribs as well as major contusions to her shoulder.
The accident is the latest setback for the 38-year-old Neben, who was a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team. She suffered from illness during a race earlier this season in El Salvador and has had to overcome skin cancer and numerous injuries over the years.
"Cycling and sport is a microcosm for life," Neben told Cyclingnews. "These lessons I learn, these experiences I have can be transferred to business, school, life or other sports. Believe it or not, there can be positive stuff that comes out of adversity. Yes, it stinks. ... No doubt about it. I do have a big-picture perspective that keeps me grounded."
Jim Tanner has worked as assistant sports editor at the Times Free Press since late 2006. He started at the Times Free Press in 2001 and worked as a news copy/design editor from 2001 through 2006. In addition to working as a night and weekend editor producing local and national sports coverage for print and online readers, Jim occasionally writes local sports and outdoors stories. Jim grew up in Ringgold, Ga., and is a graduate ...