Zabel looking forward to Tour 2007

By Susan Westemeyer

Erik Zabel is looking forward to riding his 13th Tour de France in 2007 - especially since it is going in the right direction. "Personally I prefer to ride in a clockwise direction. I don't know why," he told

HIs favourite to win the race is Alexander Vinokourov. "After he got shut out of the Tour this year, he will be highly motivated. He showed at the Vuelta that he has the potential to win a Grand Tour." Zabel also thinks that his countryman, young Marcus Fothen, who was at the Tour presentation in Paris this week, has a chance to finish in the top five. "Why not? He has a great potential. He has showed that already in the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France."

Zabel is especially looking forward to starting the Tour in London. "I have already been with the Tour in Great Britain, my first Tour in 1994. That was a great experience. I'm really looking forward to it next year." And he is sure, "it will be fun for me" to ride the Tour again.

His overall goal for next year is to try and "make more progress with Team Milram. That means, that we, for example, want to make our sprinter train for Alessandro Petacchi even more perfect. We want to continue where we were in the Vuelta. That is surely our biggest goal. But we also want to do well in the big tours as well as the Spring Classics."

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