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"It will help me progress on Katusha that focus on sprints and will allow me some chances in the Classics. I think for my type of rider it was good to change teams but I’m still happy with my time at BMC.”

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Photo: Tim De Waele/TDW Sport

KATUSHA ALPECIN

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05.09.2016 @ 17:34 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Rick Zabel is just 22, but the young BMC sprinter has the pressure of a famous cycling father, Erik, who has 12 Tour stages and 4 Milan-Sanremos to his name to recall just a few of his results. Rick has had another consistent year, and talked with CyclingQuotes at the Tour of Britain team presentation in Glasgow.

 

“This season has been ok until now, I’ve been doing some good results, I’m still missing a win but the results are still good. I’m quite happy but to take a win still remains my goal.”

 

Zabel spoke of his mixed memories from Britain's biggest race, after a great first race and awful second race. Hwever, he says the hard roads do suit him well.

 

“In 2014 I did a really good Tour of Britain for my first year as a pro, last year I was sick on stage one and didn’t finish so I have mixed memories here about this race. I hope to have another Tour like I did two years ago and I do like this race a lot, the way of the stages and just the racing in general.”

 

Zabel won't be in Qatar for the Worlds, but he will get some experience racing for the Eliter men's national team when Germany line up for the European Championships one week after the Tour of Britain concludes.

 

“I am not going to the Worlds but one week after Tour of Britain, I will be at the European Championships so that’s another nice goal for me.”

 

Zabel, who has already confirmed he is joining Katusha from BMC in 2017, spoke about his move next season and the reasons why he left the team he turned pro with.

 

“I had a good time at BMC and it was hard to leave on one side but on the other it will help me progress being on a team like Katusha that focus more on sprints and will allow me some chances in the Classics. I think for my type of rider it was good to change teams and I’m looking forward to being with Katusha but I’m still happy with my time at BMC.”

 

One big benefit of joining Katusha is the chance to learn from Alexander Kristoff, who wins 10 plus races each year and has two Monument wins to his name. This is something that Zabel says he really hopes to do, and he says working in the leadout for the Norwegian is not out of the question.

 

“For me its nice to ride with an experienced guy like Kristoff who has already won big Classics like Milan-Sanremo and Flanders. He doesn’t just do that, he wins sprints all year round. I’m just 22 so its nice to join Katusha and I hope I can help him in the finals and play a role in the sprint train and develop as a sprinter in this way too. I hope for some chances to sprint when he isn’t at the same races as me but I’m happy to work with him.”

 

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