Erik Zabel Confirmed For Berkshire Cycling Classic
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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Erik Zabel Confirmed For Berkshire Cycling Classic

by VeloNation Press at 7:30 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Famous German returns to the United States

Erik ZabelTour de France green jersey record holder Erik Zabel will ride in the USA for the first time in six years when he takes part in the first edition of the Berkshire Cycling Classic in less than a month.

The former top pro has been confirmed by organisers Sparta Cycling as the patron for this year’s event, which will take place in Lenox, Massachusetts on May 6th and which is the sole American round of the new UCI World Cycling Tour.

The latter is a series of fifteen cyclosportif/Gran Fondo events held around the world. It will climax in a final which will be open to the top 25 percent, and which will crown a world champion in each age group.

The chance of riding a series which will reward the best with a rainbow jersey will be a big draw in getting people to take part, but so too Zabel’s participation. He’s one of the most successful riders of all time, with his 200 pro wins including multiple stages of the Tour de France, a record six green jerseys, four editions of Milan-Sanremo and more.

“This will be my first time riding in the States since the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta,” he said, confirming his participation. “It is a wonderful chance to meet American riders and to ride the beautiful Berkshires.”

Sparta Cycling principal John Eustice has received a big boost because of Zabel’s plans. “It is an honor for us to have Erik Zabel with us this year,” he said. “Erik is not only a legendary rider but also a friendly, outgoing person who will add a special dimension to the first annual Berkshire Cycling Classic.”

The German, who now works in a guiding capacity for the Katusha team, will also take part in two “Evening with Erik Zabel” appearances. One will be in New York City, with the second in Lenox, Mass.

The former will tie in with a presentation of the 2012 Rockstar Games sponsored Skyscraper Harlem Cycling Classic, now a USA Crits and NCC event. “My 6-day racer friends told me about the Harlem race,” said Zabel. “It’s got a very good reputation in Europe as an exciting and well run criterium.”

As for the Berkshire Cycling Classic itself, there will be two distances available for riders. They will either do the 61 mile/100 kilometre course or the longer 81 miles/130 kilometre event. The overall times will be recorded and ranked according to age groups.

“Our Berkshire Cycling Classic offers a unique experience for all levels of cyclists, whether they want to have a fun, spirited ride with friends and family, or really go for it and try to qualify for the UCI World Cycling Tour Final, the Masters World Championship,” said Eustice.

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