The BMC Racing Team has signed Rick Zabel to a contract for the 2014 season, President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz announced Monday.
Following In His Father’s Footsteps
The 19-year-old German is the reigning Under 23 German national road champion and won the Under 23 edition of the Tour of Flanders this season, as well as a stage of the Tour de Normandie. “We are always on the lookout for future talents like Rick,” Ochowicz said. “He and his family have a great passion for the sport and it will be a pleasure to work with him during these early years of his career.” Precise terms of the contract, including duration or compensation, were not disclosed per team policy, Ochowicz said. BMC Racing Team Performance Manager Allan Peiper said already Zabel is following in the footsteps of his father, Erik, who won more than 200 races as a professional and six consecutive points classification titles at the Tour de France. “Rick has a long list of results in the last few years to back up his pedigree,” Peiper said. “He has certainly learned a lot from his father, and, in a lot of ways, they are a little bit the same rider. Rick is a sprinter who can hold his ground on any terrain.”
A Shared Passion For Cycling
The younger Zabel said it did not take him long to make a decision after the BMC Racing Team offered him a contract. “I think they one of the most professional teams in the WorldTour and the riders speak for themselves – guys like Cadel Evans, Philippe Gilbert, Thor Hushovd and Tejay van Garderen – a lot of big stars,” he said. “To have those guys as teammates for a young guy like me is really cool because I can learn a lot from them.” Zabel said he shares the same passion for cycling as BMC Racing Team sponsor Andy Rihs. “For me this is really a dream,” he said. “I want to get better year to year and improve my qualities. I don’t turn 20 until December so I am still very young. I want to learn, do my work as well as possible and help the team however I can.”