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If i was Zabel, i would be some choked.(8 posts)

If i was Zabel, i would be some choked.Largo
Jun 29, 2001 3:25 PM
It was made official today, no Fagnini.
Telekom has just said to Zabel" thanks for all the green jerseys, but Jan is our man"
Here is a scenario. Zabel, in a fit of pique, leaves Telekom (after his contact is fini) for USPS.
Hmmmmmm.
Now, i think Telekom is going to come out of the TDF with a 2nd at best, and no jerseys at all.
Granted, Zabel has moved away from being the pure sprinter he once was, to a more all-round rider, but he can still duke it out in a sprint finish, and having a mutant like Fagnini there to keep him up there even if he doesn't win, could help him aquire another greeny.
Your scenario is interesting, but vague..Cima Coppi
Jun 29, 2001 3:31 PM
I see it this way, Zabel leaves Telekom for Saeco. Let's face it, we all know Cipo's not going to be with his red train at the end of the year, so they'll be looking for another world class sprinter to take his place. Zabel is a good choice to fill the roll.

USPS cannot even support Hincapie in a bunch leadout, so how would they be better off with Zabel?
Your scenario is interesting, but vague..jschrotz
Jun 29, 2001 3:45 PM
I don't know if the situation is so bad for Zabel. Telekom has ridden their brains out for him since '95 or '96 in the Tour. They've even had Riis and Ullrich providing lead-outs for him. If that's not support, I don't know what is. When was the last time you saw Armstrong providing a lead out for Hincapie in the first week of the Tour? I think this is going to force Zabel to be a little more cunning and resourceful in the sprints. Zabel has always seemed to me to be a good team player and won't be too devastated by this, unless he really has no faith in Ullrich's chances.
Vague indeed.Largo
Jun 29, 2001 5:33 PM
I was thinking purely in terms of revenge, but Zabel is not that sort.
Zabel as a replacement for Cipo? Hmmm, i don't think so.
I read somewhere that Zabel was transforming himself into a more classics-oriented rider, so i don't think he would be interested in a sprinters role.
I still think that Telekom (which is my favourite team) could have had their cake and ate it to by keeping Fagnini in the roster.
I had a look at their lineup, and there are a few names there that they could drop and not miss in a supportive role for JU.
I have been reading lots of Jan hype lately, but it all rings a bit hollow in light of his performance as of late.
What stand are you taking?!?!Cima Coppi
Jun 29, 2001 5:55 PM
You contest that Zabel is no longer a pure sprinter, yet you are arguing that w/o Fagnini to lead him out, he won't win stages. To me, these are the tactics of a sprinter, and to win the Maillot Vert, one must possess the ability to finish at the front on the flats, and just hold on in the mountains. The winners has been the sprinters for some time now.

If Zabel is trying to evolve to become a classics rider, than what roll will he have in the TdF. No other sprinter is dumb enough to let him break off the front, leaving him right with the pack to fight it out at the line for that green jersey. No doubt, he'll be an asset during the TTT, which I pick Telekom to finish in the top 5. But other than that, if you say he's not a pure sprinter anymore, what roll does he really have on the team?
I'm ranting damnit! I don't have to explain myself!!:)Largo
Jun 29, 2001 7:18 PM
Seriously, as i mentioned, although he is no longer a pure sprinter, he can do some damage, therefore, he needs a good leadout man to keep him in the top 5 or so during bunch sprints (and possibly win a sprint), so that he can contest the green jersey.
Although he is not the "pure" sprinter say a Steels is, that makes him more of a threat over all, as he can win stages other than sprints.
Hows that?
Way to keep me honest!
what if hincapie leads out Zabel?Made in Taiwan
Jun 30, 2001 12:52 AM
that will certainly make it interesting, a pretty good sprinter leading out a good sprinter
No chancemr_spin
Jun 29, 2001 4:02 PM
Zabel has spent his entire career with Telekom, and they have treated him quite well. I doubt he'll leave, and there's no way he'll go to USPS.

Zabel knows the score--a green jersey at the expense of a yellow one is not good. I don't think I've ever heard him whine about anything, and I don't think he'll start now. I'm sure he'll try for some stage wins on his own. Maybe go off on a break one day. Zabel's a hardman--he can fend for himself.