Erik Zabel's new German-based professional team will be unveiled at the world championships in Madrid, according to the spokesman for one of its sponsors. Harald Schomacker of dairy company Nordmilch told radsport-news.com, "The contracts are almost finalised. We will show ourselves in the ProTour with Zabel as figurehead." The team will be based on the current Domina Vacanze team, with the addition of Alessandro Petacchi as Petacchi's current Fassa Bortolo team disbands at the end of this year.
News of the team's creation leaked during the Tour of Germany, after Erik Zabel had announced he was leaving T-Mobile. Zabel had been deeply upset by his exclusion from this year's Tour de France and the new outfit is believed to offer the 35-year-old a three-year contract with a guaranteed start in the Tour. "We wanted to go public a bit later," said Schomacker. "First everything should be wrapped up. Zabel's announcement at the end of July that he was going to join a new team came somewhat early. He was certainly under a bit of pressure." Schomacker added that more details of the new team would be announced in Madrid.