Zabel criticises Ullrich's short season
Uber-sprinter Erik Zabel will join the new Nordmilch team for 2006, but has some choice words for hi
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM Erik Zabel, whose new Nordmilch team will be presented in Madrid on Friday at the world championships, has used his last days as a T-Mobile rider to criticise Jan Ullrich and his soon-to-be-former team (writes Susanne Horsdal). In an interview with German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung, Zabel explained how in the past two-and-a-half years at T-Mobile he hadn’t received as much support in the sprints as he would have liked. “I’ve had to sprint for my life, so to speak,” Zabel said, who also went on to criticise his T-Mobile team-mate Ullrich. “I don’t want to take anything away from Jan. The winner is always right. On the other hand, I have to say that from my own experience, if you don’t win, you have to ask yourself why,” said the T-Mobile veteran, who also had a few going-away words regarding Ullrich’s very short season. “The problem is that Jan starts racing some time in May, maybe April,” Zabel said. “But if [Alexandre] Vinokourov hadn’t won Liege-Bastogne-Liege and I hadn’t won the Henninger Turm, then there wouldn’t have been anything at all.” The German sprinter has been with T-Mobile/Telekom for 13 years and taken home 192 victories in that period, but shows no signs of slowing down after joining fellow sprinter Alessandro Petacchi in the new Nordmilch team. Zabel said that he hoped to carry on riding until 2008.