Robert Bartko and Erik Zabel will ride the Berlin Six Day race together, only the second time they have teamed for such a race. It will mark Zabel's debut in his hometown Six Day race and his final race in a 16-year professional career.
"It is really something special for me to ride with him in his last race and in Berlin," Bartko said to rad-net.de.
The race, January 22 to 27, will be the final track or road event for Germany's Zabel. He ends a career that is highlighted with many sprint wins, including victories in Milano-Sanremo, Paris-Tours and the Tour de France. He recently announced that he will serve as an advisor to Team Columbia in the coming season.
"That is exactly the right pair – two Berlin boys, fighting for the win," said Organiser Heinz Seesing.
Zabel and Bartko recently faced each other in the Munich Six Day race, which Bartko and partner Iljo Keisse won by only four points ahead of Zabel and Leif Lampater. The loss left Zabel upset.
"We are professional enough to accept the organiser's wish for how the teams are put together, because we know that a lot depends on it," Zabel said.
Bartko and Zabel previously rode together in the Munich Six Day race in 2005, which they won. (SW)