BEIJING Two cyclists with Salt Lake City ties will be the sole Americans
in the field of 39 in the men's cycling time trials Wednesday afternoon.
Salt Lake City resident David Zabriskie and Levi Leipheimer, who attended
Rowland Hall, will be back on their bikes after both participated in
Saturday's 240-kilometer road race on the opening day of Beijing Olympics
Leipheimer finished 11th in Saturday's event, while Zabriskie cycling to
help U.S. teammates keep pace early on did not finish.
The men's time trials will cover a 47.6-kilometer total distance two
laps on the course between a pair of Great Wall entrance points at
Juyongguan and Badaling.
Not only are the distances different between the two events, but so are
the time durations and cyclist strategies besides the obvious intent to
win by beating all other competitors.
In the road race, cyclists began with a mass start and raced to be the
first one across the finish line some six-plus hours later. Essentially,
it1s a matter of cyclist against cyclist to the finish.
In the time trials, it's simply man against the clock, with the fastest
cyclist winning. Each rider leaves at 90-second intervals in three different
"waves" or groupings.
And once passed by a competitor, a rider cannot go into the slipstream of
the faster rider but must keep a minimum 10-meter distance behind.
Zabriskie will leave in the second wave, Leipheimer in the third.