Lightweight’s Stefann Behrens, Erik Zabel and Bespoke
Cycling founder Barry Scott.
Sprint legend Erik Zabel (Weds) took a break from his preparations for the
Tour de France to open London’s new New York-style cycling boutique, Bespoke
The six times Tour green jersey winner spent two hours with guests at the Hoxton
Square store to promote Bespoke’s range of Lightweight wheels between
flying in to Luton airport and joining up with his team-mates at a Brands Hatch
And Zabel revealed that his Milram team-mate Alessandro Petacchi would likely
not start the Tour due to the ongoing doping probe from this year’s Giro
d’Italia, but tipped Britain’s up and coming sprinter Mark Cavendish
to win his first Tour stage in the first week.
“I really think Mark Cavendish could breakthough and win a stage this
year,” Zabel told Londoncyclesport. “He’s hot, young and talented,”
the veteran German rider said of the T-Mobile youngster.
“He reminds me of a young Jerome Blijlevens,” he added referring
to the Dutch sprinter who won four Tour stages in four years from 1995 to 1998.
“Cavendish can win with a team, and he has shown he can win without a
team. He’s got a lot of talent.”
Zabel found time to sign cards and posters
Petacchi’s absence would leave Zabel as Milram’s team leader in
what could be his last Tour. “It will be my 37th birthday in a few days,
so that day has to come sometime.”
But he said riding this year was a way of repaying cycling fans for his recent
confession to using EPO once in the 1990s. “I could have simply retired
when I spoke out recently, but this is my chance of giving something back.”
Bespoke’s founder Barry Scott said he was delighted that Zabel had made
the time to visit the new shop and bike fitting studio, accompanied by Stefan
Behrens, co-owner of Lightweight owner Carbon Sports.
Bespoke also sells Parlee and Kent Eriksen frames, along with many other top
end equipment.- www.bespokecycling.com