Erik Zabel, who retired as a rider at the end of 2008, is now a test rider for Canyon Bicycles GmbH, of Koblenz, Germany. He will also serve as a mentor to young riders under a company-sponsored program.
Zabel will help the firm's engineers and designers to develop new models. "With his technical know-how, he will help bring new innovative products to the market and continue to build up the technological advantage," the firm said.
The 38-year-old will be mentor for the "Canyon Young Heroes", an initiative to promote youth cycling, a subject dear to his heart. "After all, it was my son Rick who brought me to Canyon. Along with 15 other youngsters from all over Europe, he rides his races as a 'Young Hero' on a Canyon bike for a year now," Zabel said.
Zabel will also work with Team Columbia this year, as an advisor to the team's sprinters. Mark Cavendish has said that Zabel will work with him at the Tour of Qatar in February and help him prepare for Milano-Sanremo.
The sprinter retired after 16 years and more than 200 wins, including four victories in Milano-Sanremo and six consecutive green jerseys at the Tour de France. He was recently selected by Cyclingnews' readers as the 2008 "Legend of Cycling".