Rick Zabel inks pro contract with BMC Racing Team
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Monday, June 03, 2013

Rick Zabel inks pro contract with BMC Racing Team

by VeloNation Press at 4:57 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Son of Erik Zabel regarded as a promising young talent: 'In a lot of ways, they are a little bit the same rider'

BMC Racing TeamRick Zabel, the son of sprinting legend Erik Zabel, has signed a contract to turn professional with the BMC Racing Team in 2014, thus taking the next step in what many predict will be a very big career.

The 20 year old won the Under 23 Tour of Flanders this year and is also the reigning under 23 national road race champion. He was approached by the BMC Racing Team and made a quick decision to move there, having raced since last season as part of the Rabobank continental team.

“I think they one of the most professional teams in the WorldTour and the riders speak for themselves – guys like Cadel Evans, Philippe Gilbert, Thor Hushovd and Tejay van Garderen – a lot of big stars,” he said, responding to the announcement of the contract. “To have those guys as teammates for a young guy like me is really cool because I can learn a lot from them.

“For me this is really a dream. I want to get better year to year and improve my qualities. I don't turn twenty until December so I am still very young. I want to learn, do my work as well as possible and help the team however I can.”

In addition to his Tour of Flanders success, Zabel also took stage five of the Tour de Normandie this season, plus a number of strong placings.

BMC Racing Team president and general manager Jim Ochowicz said that the team is always looking out for promising young riders and that he was glad to have secured his signature. “He and his family have a great passion for the sport and it will be a pleasure to work with him during these early years of his career,” he said.

One of those who will guide Zabel will be the BMC Racing Team Performance Manager Allan Peiper. He said that there are parallels in the characteristics between the young rider and Erik Zabel, something he will hope will lead to many successes for the younger rider.

“Rick has a long list of results in the last few years to back up his pedigree,” the Australian said. “He has certainly learned a lot from his father, and, in a lot of ways, they are a little bit the same rider. Rick is a sprinter who can hold his ground on any terrain.”

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