Rick Zabel was first known as the little boy in green, who joined his father Erik Zabel on the Tour de France final podium, as the elder Zabel collected his six green jerseys. But now Rick is 21 years old and in his second pro year, with BMC Racing Team.
Zabel has had his breakthrough year in 2015, riding numerous top races, including his first Grand Tour, the Giro d’Italia. “I fought every day to survive and jut make it to the finish. Especially the long mountain stages were hard for me, but I also like it. It was a great race. I was just super happy to finish.”
Zabel was still in search of his first pro win, and came very close on the second stage of the Tour of Austria, where he was in excellent sprint position, only to crash within 20 meters of the finish line. That only inspired him for the next day, where he won the mass sprint, on his father’s 45th birthday.
That win meant that the “big pressure is away from me,” he said thankfully.
He is still not sure what direction his career will take but “right now I just try to take every chance I get and get better day by day.”