NAME: Rick Zabel DOB: 7 December 1993 (Year of the Rooster) BIRTHPLACE: Unna, Germany1
TEAM: BMC Racing Team

As the youngest rider at the Dubai Tour, you’d think there would be very little pressure for neo-pro Rick Zabel to make his presence felt. And perhaps that’s partially true, but when your last name is Zabel, and your dad won the Green Jersey at the Tour de France six years in a row (not to mention his proclivity for amazing haircuts and  that fact that he single handedly taught Mark Cavendish how to sprint), people expect things of you.

Luckily Zabel has already achieved plenty even though he's only 20 years old. This is perhaps due to his deep commitment to the sport, which led him to drop out of high school in 2012 in order to sign a contract with Rabobank’s Continental development team. Soon after, Zabel won the U23 Tour of Flanders and became Germany’s national champion in the same category. Then came a stage win at the Tour de Normandie. He comes into 2014 with high hopes, both for himself and for his beloved Borussia Dortmund, the German football club he supports.

  1. As is common for many German towns, Unna produces it's own traditional herbal liqueur. Even though science and modern attitudes about nasty cough medicine-tasting alcohol suggest that “Herting Pörter”, named after the town's gate or port, is likely harsh and viscid, their tagline is Der Gute Likor, or in English, The Good Liquor. Although the distinct Westphalian dialect is primarily spoken by only the elderly, most residents of the area still have an accent. []