Zabel not sure for Tour

One of the most consistent riders in the world, German Erik Zabel (T-Mobile) has expressed doubts over his selection to ride this year's Tour de France. In his team's training camp on the Spanish island of Mallorca, Zabel was asked by German news agency dpa whether the selection of riders for the Tour de France was already taking shape. "Of course there is a tendency within the team management," he replied. "We're not a democratic association - the manager will decide. In that case, the buck would be passed on to somebody else: he has to win the Tour."

Zabel has participated in the Tour de France 11 times. The German won 12 stages at the Tour, and six times the points classification (green jersey). However, no official stement from the team's management has been made over Zabel's inclusion for the Tour de France yet.

As Zabel's foot fracture has healed, the sprinter is currently shaping up for another big target in 2005, Milano-San Remo. Last year's defeat still weighs heavily on him, as Spaniard Oscar Freire passed him practically on the finish line because the 34 year-old German had raised his arms to celebrate victory, too soon as it turned out. "This defeat keeps following me. It caused more public attention than my four victories there," he said.

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