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Zabel sees an open parcours

By:
Hernan Alvarez Macias in Madrid
Published:
September 24, 2005, 1:00 BST,
Updated:
April 21, 2009, 0:12 BST
Edition:
Cycling News Extra for September 24, 2005

By Hernan Alvarez Macias in Madrid Erik Zabel (Germany) is not having his best season. But in...

By Hernan Alvarez Macias in Madrid

Erik Zabel (Germany) is not having his best season. But in Madrid, there is a small possibility that he can take revenge of his swag of second places behind Alessandro Petacchi in the Vuelta a España. Cyclingnews went to the Eurostars Zarzuela Park Hotel in the surroundings of Madrid where the whole German team is staying to speak face-to-face with one of the greatest sprinters who will start men's road race on Sunday.

"I actually have no idea about what can happen on Sunday," said Zabel. "It's a very open circuit; maybe there are chances for all kind of riders like [Paolo] Bettini, [Alexandre] Vinokourov, and the sprinters." About his chances for the bunch sprint with such a huge rival like Petacchi, he said, "I don't know if I can beat him. Petacchi is very fast and he's nearly unbeatable."

Referring to his season, Zabel went on to say "I'm of course not so happy that I didn't ride in the Tour de France and that was my first time that I didn't do the Tour for years. So, it was not so good for me not to ride the Tour, but after my broken ankle in the spring, I was good in the rest of the classics. I also hope to be good for the rest of the season and now I'm a little bit like in the Vuelta, or maybe a little bit better. I'm happy."

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