The Bicycle, Blues and BBQ Festival is continuing to gain momentum. The weekend festival not only drew a large number of cyclists, but continues to turn locals into bicycle racing enthusiasts.
Nick Frey, of Ft. Collins, Colo., said he couldn’t believe the cheers he was receiving as he raced through downtown Clear Lake Saturday in the professional division of the Iowa State Criterium Championship. “This is a better crowd than any race at Nature
Valley, which is one of the biggest national race calendar races in the United States,” he said. Frey was in Clear Lake for the racing weekend with his Jamis-Sutter Home Pro Cycling teammate, Tom Zirbel, a native of Clear Lake.
Zirbel, who now lives in Boulder, Colo., was also all smiles after racing in the criterium, as well as the long course road race on Sunday. The events were not only a chance to return to his hometown, but an opportunity to get back into racing after serving one and one-half years of a two year suspension when he tested positive for DHEA at the 2009 US Pro TT championships, where he took second. He finished fourth in the world time trial championships before the result became known, and was subsequently stripped of those results. He has maintained his innocence and sought to fight the charges, but without proof of how the positive test occurred the USADA handed him a two year sanction.
The 32 year old was given a green light to return to competition just a few months ago and he is now trying to make up for lost time. He is successfully finding his form again; he finished fourth in Saturday’s criterium and was 22nd in the 82-mile road race. His teammate, Frey, was third in the road race.
Energized by his new team and return to the competitive sport, Zirbel has a goal of racing at the US nationals, the Tour of California, and a return to Europe to chase big results in - Read More via e-Edition