Two top cyclists out of U.S. pro championships

Two top cyclists out of U.S. pro championships

May 19th, 2013 by Jim Tanner in Sportlocal

USAC Cycling National Championship

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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."