Zabel looks to the future

T-Mobile's Erik Zabel is using his unaccustomed free time this summer to think about his future. He acknowledged that the team had offered him a two-year contract, with continued employment after his active career. "I have a good offer from Olaf Ludwig," he said in a dpa interview. "I hope we can find a solution that will satisfy both sides."

He admitted that it was hard at first to accept the team's decision not to take him to the Tour this year. "I wanted to be part of the Tour team for Jan," he said. "But I could fully understand Walter Godefroot's argument when he said: If you're a water carrier, then you're not a sprinter any more."

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