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Rick Zabel to follow in father Erik's footsteps?

Erik Zabel, joined by son Rick, receives his fifth green jersey at the 2000 Tour de France. Rick is now taking after his father and is a successful Junior racer.

Erik Zabel, joined by son Rick, receives his fifth green jersey at the 2000 Tour de France. Rick is now taking after his father and is a successful Junior racer. (Image credit: AFP)

A familiar name in the professional cycling world crossed the finish line first once again as Rick Zabel, son of former-professional Erik Zabel, won the U19 edition of the Rund um Köln on Monday in his native Germany.

Rick, 17, has been successful on both the road and track in the Junior ranks much to the delight of his father.

"My son has talent and is clearly on the right track," Erik Zabel told Sporza. "I'm very proud of him. He loves cycling, and that is most important in my eyes."

For the time being the proud father doesn't want to speculate as to how far Rick's abilities on a bike may take him. "It is too early to say whether a professional career awaits him," said Erik.

Erik Zabel, 40, had over 200 wins in his career from 1992 to 2008, including six consecutive green jerseys and 12 stages of the Tour de France. The German also won Milan-San Remo four times. Additionally, amongst Zabel's myriad victories are two wins in the professional version of the Rund um Köln.

He currently works as a coach with the American ProTeam HTC-Highroad where he works with sprinter Mark Cavendish.

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