June 16, 2005
Zabel out of T-Mobile Tour plans
Six-time green jersey winner Erik Zabel will not start his 12th Tour de France this year.
From the T-Mobile team website:
"It is as tough a decision for us as it is for Erik. With six green jerseys and twelve Tour stage wins, he has left his mark on the Tour like hardly any other German rider," said the future team manager Olaf Ludwig. "But with three riders in the team, who already stood on the podium in Paris (Klöden, Ullrich, Vinokourov), we are clearly aiming for yellow." For the departing team manager Walter Godefroot it is also "a new situation to compete at the Tour without Erik." However, Zabel would accept the decision of the team management, "since he is a pro to the core."
Zabel has reached an age where he's not producing many wins anymore, and his odds of factoring heavily in the green jersey competition would have been pretty low, I think. Still, it's strange to imagine a TdF without him.
Rolf Aldag (36)
Giuseppe Guerini (35)
Sergey Ivanov (30)
Matthias Kessler (26)
Andreas Klöden (29)
Paco Lara (28)
Daniele Nardello (32)
Bram Schmitz (28)
Stefan Schreck (26)
Oscar Sevilla (28)
Tobias Steinhauser (33)
Jan Ullrich (31)
Alexander Vinokourov (31)
They'll make a final team presentation on Wednesday, June 22.
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Great blog. The TdF is the only reason i have a satellite dish. I have to echo your sentiments that it's strange to imagine a TdF without Zabel.
Posted by: susanne at Jun 18, 2005 2:23:04 PM
I agree with susanne.. a TdF without Zabel will feel very odd indeed..I have just seen the excellent doco 'Hell on Wheels ' in which he features prominantly, in addition to being a mythic athlete, Zabel is gracious articulate and witty ... an all round lovely man who seems way too well adjusted to be a sprinter *smile* ..i for one will miss him heaps
Posted by: marya at Jun 19, 2005 12:29:16 AM
What a shock to hear that Zabel didn't make Team Mobile for Le Tour. With all of the excitement he has brought over the years, it would have been nice to give him the last spot as a way of respecting his green jerseys of years gone by. I did have the chance to see him ride in Hamilton and say he is World Class as a rider and a person.
Posted by: Robbie R at Jun 30, 2005 10:19:12 AM