Alex Rasmussen: Relationship with Farrar is key to Tour de France selection
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Monday, February 20, 2012

Alex Rasmussen: Relationship with Farrar is key to Tour de France selection

by Kyle Moore at 4:30 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
Danish rider hoping to develop rhythm with Garmin-Barracuda sprinter

Alex RasmussenGarmin-Barracuda signed Alex Rasmussen to help eat up long, flat kilometers, to ride a solid time trial, and eventually to help lead out its sprint star Tyler Farrar. 

Rasmussen knows his role will be key, and he says that how well he develops with Farrar could decide whether he is selected for some of the season’s biggest races.

Speaking with Feltet.dk, Rasmussen explained that his season could be divided into two parts, with the prologue of the Giro d’Italia being the turning point.

“After the Giro, we can say that we are starting a new season,” he explained.  “The Giro prologue is my big focus, and then we’ll take it from there.  As with all other riders, the Tour de France is a goal, but it’s not something you are ever sure of.  It may turn out that it comes, and it may also be that I’m not going to race it.  But it’s certainly a goal.”

Similar to other well-rounded teams such as Sky Procycling, who will attempt to operate in July with the goals of both Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins in mind, Rasmussen knows that Garmin-Barracuda will also head to the Grand Boucle with multiple aspirations.

A repeat of last year’s team general classification title could certainly be a goal, as will be the GC aspirations of Tom Danielson and Christian Vande Velde, and the sprint train for Farrar.  How the team chooses to parcel out its nine spots to multiple disciplines will be paramount, and Rasmussen acknowledged that it would help decide his own selection.

“There is always a balance on a team with how many sprinters you want, and this will often be what decides it,” he said.  “Even if I ride well, I’m not sure because they might only use three riders to help Tyler, and then it is not certain that I will be with them. 

“If they require four or five men to help with the sprints, and I deliver every time I’m with Tyler, then maybe I’ll get to help with the lead out [in the Tour].”

Early returns were primarily positive for Rasmussen in the Garmin-Barracuda lead out.  He wrapped up his first race of the season for his new team in the Tour of Oman, and he helped Farrar to two third place finishes, as well as a fourth, in the three purely flat finishes.

But the 27-year-old realizes that the season is just getting started, there are many races yet to go until the summer heat, and the team has yet to finalize any strategies with its revamped sprint train.

“I do not know, and I don’t think team management is deciding anything at present,” Rasmussen concluded about his team’s GC and sprint priorities later in the season.

“It is something they will figure out how to prioritize during the season.  If Tyler is absolutely flying and winning races, he could become a priority, and if [David] Millar and Vande Velde can grab a high place, they will be prioritized,” he added.

Much to ride for, as the Dane continues his spring season at next month’s Paris-Nice.

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