September 26, 2008 (Dortmund, Germany) – Erik Zabel will announce his retirement from professional cycling at the World Championships in Varese, Italy. Together with Martin Mischel, head of sales and marketing for sponsor NORDMILCH AG, and Milram team manager Gerry van Gerwen, the 38 year old will discuss his career end at a press conference on Friday, September at 14:30 in the World’s press center.
“I had a lot of fun riding this year and could keep up with my international rivals. I don’t know if I could do that for another season and think that this is the right moment to stop,” said Erik Zabel, who will ride his last race in Germany for Team Milram on October 3, the Sparkassen MÃ¼nsterland Giro. “I want to thank my colleagues, the functionaries and everyone else with whom I have experienced so many wonderful moments in cycling. And also Team Milram, who have given me a lot of support in difficult times.”
“With Erik Zabel’s retirement, not only Team Milram but also the whole sporting world is losing an important athlete. We thank him for the great work of the last three years,” said Gerry van Gerwen, Team Milram’s general manager. “At the same time we wish Erik an equally exciting and successful career after this career, and hope that he stays involved with cycling, in whatever way.”
“Erik Zabel has been one of the most important persons on Team Milram since its founding, one who has helped to establish Milram in cycling. Thanks to Erik Zabel, our engagement has received a lot of press attention from the beginning. A great athlete with a unique career is leaving his active career and is leaving the foundation for a new start in the sport. Team Milram will use this with a clear focus on young riders. We thank him for his dedication and ambition,” said Martin Mischel, head of sales and marketing for NORDMILCH AG.
Erik Zabel ends his career as the most successful German cyclist, with over 200 wins. In his 16 pro years, he rode the Tour de France 14 times, winning 12 stages and six green jerseys for the best sprinter. He had eight stage wins in the Vuelta a Espana and three times took home the jersey for the most points. The 38 year-old also won the most important Italian one-day Classic Milano-Sanremo four times, Paris-Tours three times and the Amsel Gold Race. In races within Germany, he won Rund um den Henninger Turm three times, and, among others, Rund um KÃ¶ln and the HEW-Cyclassics.
Additional information about Team Milram can be found on the team’s website, www.team-milram.com