Stefan Schumacher wants to return to the Tour de France
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Stefan Schumacher wants to return to the Tour de France

by VeloNation Press at 6:43 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Doping
 
German to race alongside Michael Rasmussen in 2012

Stefan SchumacherHis 2012 team-mate Michael Rasmussen has given up on all hopes of returning to the Tour de France but Stefan Schumacher – another who last rode the race in dubious circumstances, bringing negative publicity to it – still harbours thoughts of returning in the future.

Schumacher is expected to be part of the Christina Watches team in 2012, joining Rasmussen on the Danish squad, but longer term presumably wants to move to another team and return to cycling’s biggest event.

“I really have a desire to ride as many Tours de France as possible. I know it will not be possible next year,” he told Feltet.dk. “The Tour is the biggest race in the world, and all riders dream of being a part of it.”

Schumacher had his best Tour in 2008, winning the two time trial stages, but was later revealed to have tested positive for CERA. He vigorously protested his innocence, swearing that he had never doped despite suspect blood values in the previous year’s world championships.

He was given a long ban and then returned to cycling last year with the Miche team. He raced there again this season and took a number of wins, including two stages of the Vuelta a Asturias, plus the prologue and a stage in the Tour of Azerbaijan.

He is yet to be officially confirmed by the Christina Watches team but that announcement could come on Friday.

Schumacher’s time with the team would appear to be a short-term thing, given his Tour de France aims. Rasmussen has said that he wants the squad to ride the Tour but admits it will be several years before it is in a position to push for a place. Schumacher is now thirty years of age and so will hope to use next season as a stepping stone to something else.

There may be some reluctance by bigger teams to sign him, though, given his history. The feeling is that he would have had a better rehabilitation if he had accepted his wrongdoing when found guilty, rather than denying what he did.

He dismisses suggestions that he is fuelled by a desire to prove a point to his detractors and critics. “I’m really not thinking about revenge and vengeance,” he insisted. “My philosophy is to look ahead with an open positive mind. I can’t do anything about what has happened in the past.”

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