By Susan Westemeyer
Team Gerolsteiner spokesman Mathias Wieland denied that the team has offered a contract to T-Mobile sprinter Erik Zabel. "I can answer that with a definite no. I would write that off to his trying to improve his market value. We have definitely not made an offer to Erik," Wieland said, nevertheless admitting that there has been contact to Zabel in the past. "Erik Zabel is such an outstanding rider, the best that we have in this time. He will see his future to be with T-Mobile," Wieland concluded.
The confusion arose from an interview Zabel gave to a German newspaper. Apparently he was asked whether he had received offers from other teams such as Gerolsteiner, and he replied "yes," without specifying which teams.