Former Tour de France sprint king Erik Zabel is set to become the new advisor to the fast men of Katusha, the Russian team’s new manager, Hans-Michael Holczer, said Thursday. Zabel, 41, is a six-time winner of the sprinters’ green jersey at the Tour de France and in recent years been mentoring Britain’s Mark Cavendish at the HTC-Highroad team. Cavendish recently added the world road race crown to his impressive list of honors. With HTC folding at the end of the season and Cavendish having signed for Team Sky as of 2012, Zabel will now give expert advice to the likes of Denis Galimzyanov, one of the current generation’s up and coming sprinters and who won Paris-Brussels in September.
“Erik will start with us this winter, he will have the same role with our team,” said Holczer, the former manager of German team Gerolsteiner.
Zabel won Milan-SanRemo four times, Paris-Tours three times and 12 stages in the Tour de France. Katusha, whose team leader is Spanish climber Joaquin Rodriguez, has recently undergone a management overhaul with new sporting directors in Germain pair Christian Henn, formerly of Gerolsteiner, and Michael Rich.