He is arguably the best known and most popular racing cyclist in Germany – He is, however, certainly the most successful. Berlin-born Erik Zabel has scooped more than 200 professional wins in his career. As a sprint specialist he was able excel in classic one-day races as well as on stages in big stage races. Unlike several of his sprinter colleagues Erik Zabel regularly overcame the highest mountains at the Tour de France, thereby demonstrating his robustness.
The biography in pictures at www.erik-zabel.net »
During his 15-year pro career the family man, who lives in Unna, has gathered a great deal of experience and even today demands the utmost from his equipment. Together with the R+D department at Canyon Zabel has designed a bike which is perfectly tuned to meet his requirements. The bike withstands the toughest sprint attacks whilst still guaranteeing a good level of comfort on long rides.
Zabel comments, "Of course, first and foremost it's important that the bike is both light and stiff which guarantees fast acceleration and that the rider’s entire strength is transferred into forward speed. However, it's equally important to have a bike with well-balanced geometry, high levels of comfort and the appropriate components. One simply can't overlook the fact that we mainly have an approach of around 200 kilometres until we then throw all our eggs into one basket in the closing metres."
In addition to his close cooperation with the Canyon R+D department, Erik is also active as mentor of the Canyon Young Heroes. It was in this function that he took part for the first time in the official kick-off meeting at the weekend of the Tour of Flanders in 2009 and spent an entire weekend with the riders who are all aged between 15 and 17.
If one takes a look at how Zabel became involved with the Koblenz-based company, then it becomes clear that both Canyon and in particular work with young talent play an important role for him. Erik comments, "It was ultimately my son Rick, who brought me to Canyon. Rick was part of the very first Young Heroes team alongside 14 other kids from all over Europe."