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Zabel hopes for Tour participation

By:
Cycling News
Published:
June 16, 2005, 1:00 BST,
Updated:
April 20, 2009, 23:59 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News for June 16, 2005

Erik Zabel (T-Mobile) is still unsure about his inclusion in the Tour de France roster of his team....

Erik Zabel (T-Mobile) is still unsure about his inclusion in the Tour de France roster of his team. The man that has won six green jerseys in the past and once counted for the best sprinter on earth currently feels "a good fitness" according to German radsportnews.com, but whether this is enough to justify his nomination for the "Grande Boucle" remains to be seen. The T-Mobile management will announce its final Tour de France selection on June 22.

"There are valid reasons to include me in the team and valid reasons not to," the 34 year-old said. "One of these is that the team is focused on Jan Ullrich, who's appearing to be in a very good condition." Zabel, who has ridden the Tour de Suisse in the past to prepare for the three weeks in France in July, skipped the event this year to participate in the Vuelta Ciclista Asturias from June 17-21. Some German observers see this as an indication that he will not be nominated for the Tour de France roster.

"It would be great if I was included," Zabel continued. "The Tour is a wonderful race and even more so, as it passes through Germany again this year." The man from Berlin, who will celebrate his 35th birthday one day before the stage to Karlsruhe, is surely hoping for a win if he participates. "But it will be very hard. There are so many fast guys like McEwen, Boonen, O'Grady and Cooke. What's more, they have all the support from their teams as they have nothing at stake on GC." Unlike T-Mobile...

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