Erik Zabel in 2009
|Full name||Erik Zabel|
July 7, 1970 |
East Berlin, East Germany
|Height||1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Weight||69 kg (150 lb; 10.9 st)|
|Current team||Team Katusha|
|Team Columbia-High Road
Infobox last updated on
Erik Zabel (born July 7, 1970 in East Berlin) is a former German professional road bicycle racer who last raced with Milram. With over 200 professional wins he is considered by some one of the greatest German cyclists and best cycling sprinters of history. Zabel won a record nine points classifications in grands tours including wearing the final green jersey in the Tour de France a record six consecutive years between 1996 to 2001 and the points jersey at the Vuelta a España in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Zabel won the Milan – San Remo four times and numerous six-day track events. For season 2012 he joined Team Katusha as sprint coach. He previously held that same position with the HTC-Highroad team until their dissolution.
Zabel grew up in East Berlin. After good results as an amateur, he became a professional in 1992 for a small German team. In 1993 he changed to Team Telekom (later T-Mobile Team). There he became a good sprinter. His strength was all-round ability: he could climb reasonably well. This meant that, apart from taking the maillot jaune in the Tour de France thanks to time bonuses, he could pick up further victories when other sprinters had retired and take the maillot vert to Paris. One memorable victory in securing the green jersey was in the 2001 Tour de France when his competition with Australian Stuart O'Grady continued to the final stage in Paris, where Zabel's better placing took the green jersey off O'Grady's shoulders. However, he was beaten by Australian Robbie McEwen in 2002, 2004 and 2006 and Baden Cooke in 2003. In October 2003 Zabel was awarded the Ruban Jaune for winning Paris-Tours with a record average speed for a one day race of 47.55 km per hour. The record stood until 2010 when Oscar Freire won Paris-Tours riding at an average of speed of 47.73 km per hour.
In 2004, Zabel began the season losing what would have been his fifth Milan – San Remo to Óscar Freire because he lifted his arms to celebrate too soon. Then, after 9 victories throughout the season (and 18 second places) Zabel ended as he had begun it: second behind Freire, this time in the world championship in Verona.
He was one of the few road cyclists of recent times who raced all year, including track cycling in winter.
Zabel stayed competitive into his late thirties, twice winning stages in the 2006 Vuelta a España and finishing second in the 2006 world championship. He won stage seven at the 2007 Vuelta a España, benefiting from a crash two kilometers from the finish that blocked all but a small group of riders. He won several other 2007 races and helped teammate and fellow sprinter Alessandro Petacchi, leading him to several wins in big races.
In September 2008 Zabel said he would retire the following month. In December 2008 he joined the Columbia team as an advisor, to work alongside riders such as Mark Cavendish, André Greipel and Mark Renshaw. Cavendish rode critical portions of the Milan – San Remo course twice with Zabel and won.
Doping offence 
On May 24, 2007 Zabel and former Team Telekom team-mate Rolf Aldag admitted using EPO to prepare for the 1996 Tour de France. Zabel told at a press conference he experimented with it for a week and stopped due to side effects. He apologized for lying about using EPO in the past. His confession was triggered by accusations by former Team Telekom masseur Jef d'Hont and the confessions of Bert Dietz, Udo Bölts and Christian Henn, all former members of Team Telekom. D'Hont's book, of which excerpts were printed in the German political magazine Der Spiegel in April 2007, accused members of Team Telekom of systematic doping with EPO in the mid-1990s.
Major achievements 
- Grand Tours
- Tour de France: 12 stages, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002,
- Vuelta a España: 8 stages, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2007
- Blue with yellow fish jersey: Points classification (2002, 2003, 2004)
- Other one-day classics and stage races
- UCI Road World Cup: (2000)
- Deutschland Tour: Points classification (2002, 2006, 2007); 13 stages, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2007
- Tour de Suisse: Points classification (2002); 8 stages, 2001, 2002, 2007
- Tirreno–Adriatico: Points classification (2002)
- Milan – San Remo: (1997, 1998, 2000, 2001)
- HEW Cyclassics: (2001)
- Amstel Gold Race: (2000)
- UCI Road World Championships road race: Silver Medal (2nd 2002, 2nd 2006)
- German National Cycling Championships Road Race: (1998, 2003)
- Paris–Tours: (1994, 2003, 2005)
- Rund um den Henninger Turm: (1999, 2002, 2005)
- Grote Scheldeprijs: (1997)
- Ronde van Nederland: Points classification (2002); 4 stages, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2003
- Six Day track cycling
- Six Days of Munich: (1995 with Etienne de Wilde, 2001 with Silvio Martinello, 2005 with Robert Bartko, 2006 with Bruno Risi)
- Six Days of Dortmund: (1996, 2000, 2001, 2005 with Rolf Aldag; 2006 with Bruno Risi; 2008, 2009 with Leif Lampater)
- Six Days of Bremen: (2009 with Leif Lampater)
- SixDayNight, Büttgen: (2006 with Bruno Risi)
- Six Days of Berlin: (2009 with Robert Bartko)
- Tour de France
- 1995: 90th overall; 5th, points; 1st, Stage 6; 1st, Stage 17
- 1996: 82nd overall; 1st, points, green jersey; 1st, Stage 3; 1st, Stage 10
- 1997: 66th overall; 1st, points green jersey; 1st, Stage 3; 1st, Stage 7; 1st, Stage 8
- 1998: 62nd overall; 1st, points green jersey; 1 day in yellow jersey (after Stage 2)
- 1999: 89th overall; 1st, points green jersey;
- 2000: 61st overall; 1st, points green jersey; 1st, Stage 20
- 2001: 96th overall; 1st, points green jersey; 1st, Stage 1; 1st, Stage 3; 1st, Stage 19
- 2002: 82nd overall; 1st, Stage 6; 1 day in yellow jersey (after Stage 3); 11 days in green jersey; 2nd, points;
- 2003: 107th overall; 3rd, points;
- 2004: 59th overall; 3rd, points;
- 2006: 86th overall; 2nd, points;
- 2007: 79th overall; 1 day in green jersey; 3rd, points;
- 2008: 43rd overall; 3rd, points;
See also 
- Marszalek, Daniel. "Ranking" (in (Polish)).
- " Cyclingnews.com, October 19, 2011,
- Cyclingnews.com Gives details of 2010 edition of Paris-Tours.
-  Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, September 21, 1997, (German)
- " VeloNews, September 26, 2008,
- " Cyclingnews.com, December 3, 2008,
- Westemeyer, Susan (2007-05-24). "Zabel and Aldag confess EPO usage". cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 2007-05-24.
- Masseur wirft Team Telekom systematisches Doping vor Der Spiegel, April 28, 2007
-  Team Milram, February 25, 2007
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Erik Zabel|
- Erik Zabel collected news and commentary at The New York Times
- Works by or about Erik Zabel in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
|German Sportsman of the Year