Dave Zabriskie, the time trial specialist whose professional reputation was tarnished by doping, announced his retirement over the weekend.
He’s one of the last of a one-time storied group of American cyclists on the US Postal Service teams whose careers fizzled after they admitted to the US Anti Doping Agency that they used performance enhancing drugs.
Zabriskie, aka DZ Nuts and Captain America, said Sunday’s one-day Giro di Lombardia race in Italy would be his last. He abandoned the race before the finish.
The 34-year-old cyclist from Salt Lake City is completing a 13-year career that included stage wins at all three Grand Tours and a yellow jersey from the Tour de France.
During the probe of doping on the US Postal Service team, however, he admitted to using performance enhancing drugs, and all those wins between May 13, 2003, and July 31, 2006 were expunged from the record books.
As a time trial specialist, most of Zabriskie’s surviving wins were individual time trials. That left him with five National Time Trial championships between 2007 and 2012. He also won the Tour of Missouri in 2009 as a member of Slipstream-Chipotle.
Zabriskie was a member of the US Postal team from 2001 to 2004 and rode with Team CSC from 2005 through 2007.
Former Postal member Christian Vande Velde, 37, retired from cycling earlier this year. He also admitted to doping and received a 6-month ban that ended this spring. His results in 2004, 2005, and 2006 were expunged from the books.
Vande Velde and Zabriskie both ended up at Jonathan Vaughter’s Team Slipstream (Garmin-Sharp), which uses stringent testing to detect doping.
Levi Leipheimer, 39, retired from cycling in May 2013 after no team would hire him after he admitted to blood doping.
George Hincapie, 40, announced last year that 2012 would be his last season as a pro cyclist. Later on, he admitted to his doping involvement while a member of the Postal Service team.
Tom Danielson, 35, still races as a member of Garmin-Sharp. He returned to cycling after a six-month suspension that ended in May, although many of his wins from March 2005 through September 2006 were expunged. He raced for the Discovery Channel pro cycling team.
Almost forgot to mention the most infamous of the Postal Service team members — Lance Armstrong. His cycling career is over for good. Other former members included Tyler Hamilton, who came clean on “60 Minutes,” and Floyd Landis, who sparked the USADA investigation.