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Tick's Blick 4 May 2005
By Tick
Date: 5/4/2005
Tick's Blick 4 May 2005

That wasn't a windstorm blowing over Germany late Sunday afternoon, it was a collective sigh of relief. Erik Zabel won the Henninger Turm race - he can still wins sprints, he hasn't forgotten how! It was only T-Mobile's second win this season, and a long overdue one.

Evidently Erik enjoyed his moment in the spotlight so much that he decided to extend it, by expressing his desire to ride the upcoming Giro d'Italia for the first time ever. This thrilled the hearts of German fans, who now had a reason to watch the Giro - who wanted to watch the no-name Gerolsteiners and T-Mobiles who had been nominated? And it certainly made the hearts of the sponsor beat a little faster - even if Erik doesn't win any stages, he will be in the running, and in the television picture.

Another group of German cycling fans was thrilled by the announcement, a group that one wouldn't expect to react so happily - the Jan Ullrich fans. Now, you have to understand that some Ullrich fans are also Zabel haters: Zabel selfishly takes up a place on the Tour team, a place which rightfully belongs to an Ullrich helper, and there Ullrich has never been able to repeat his Tour victory. It's all Zabel's fault!

Oh, yes, why are they so happy? Because, the theory goes, he'll wear himself out in Italy and won't be in any condition to ride the Tour, thus turning over his place on the Tour time to its rightful owner, an Ullrich helper.

But what they don't know is that Erik wants to go for the triple this year: starts in all three Grand Tours. Will he be able to pull it off? Will he be able to beat Petacchi in the sprints in Italy, in even one? Who knows? But it sure will be fun to watch!

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