By Susan Westemeyer
Veteran T-Mobile sprinter Erik Zabel still hasn't decided where he will ride next year. The team has made him "a good offer", he said as commentator on German television during yesterday's stage, "but after 13 years, I have earned a very good offer." He also noted that he has "another offer, that is just a little better."
It's rumoured the T-Mobile offer is a two year deal with a modest pay cut, followed by another year as a press officer. Domina Vacanze, which recently acquired Alessandro Petacchi, is believed to be the other team courting Zabel.
Zabel said that all interested parties will sit down together Monday and talk it over. "The decision doesn't have to be made then, I have time," he noted. He expects to announce his decision no later than the HEW Cyclassics race in Hamburg on July 31.
He admits that being left off the T-Mobile Tour team was painful: "That was a kick in the place where it hurts most. First I had to get over that. It is known that I have offers from other teams. On the other hand, after 13 years with the team, I feel committed to it. That is also important. I have to think about all of that."