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Zabel to ride German nationals

Erik Zabel, who won the second stage of the Bayern Rundfahrt just one week after his tearful EPO doping confession, is the first rider to declare himself for the German national road championships, the race organisers announced Thursday. The race will be held Sunday July 1 in Wiesebaden.

"Erik Zabel told me he would be ready to start," said Udo Sprenger, vice president of the German cycling federation. "Zabel's participation in the German road championship is possible despite his doping confession, since the incident happened 11 years ago and legally falls under the statute of limitations."

Zabel has won the title twice, in 1998 and 2003. This year's race consists of 13 laps of a 15.33 km course, for a total of 199 km.

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