By Susan Westemeyer
When Jan Schaffrath left Team T-Mobile this year, he planned to join his friend Erik Zabel as a rider for the new Milram team. But it looks like "Schaffi" will not be pulling sprints for his childhood friend, but instead telling him what to do. Schaffrath will become a directeur sportif for the team.
"It's a great offer," said Schaffrath. "At 34 years old, I could still put in good performance, but the end of the career was in sight." In preparation, he will be attending an intensive English course. "With a team of 15 Italians, 10 Germans and five riders from other nations, English will be the team language. I want to prepared for that."
Zabel viewed his friend's new career with mixed feelings. "I would liked to have ridden longer with him. But I can also see him as a directeur sportif. I won't have any problem when Jan is my boss in the future. We are and will remain friends."