Jakob Fuglsang “shocked” by the revelations in Michael Rasmussen confession
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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Jakob Fuglsang “shocked” by the revelations in Michael Rasmussen confession

by Ben Atkins at 3:29 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Compatriot and sometime training partner had no idea of the extent of climber’s doping regime

jakob fuglsangJakob Fuglsang (Astana) has described himself as “shocked” by the extent of the revelations of Michael Rasmussen’s doping activities, outlined in Rasmussen’s recent book, he has told Wielerrevue.nl. The 28-year-old often trained with Rasmussen, but had no idea what his compatriot was up to, or the risks that the Tour de France contender was taking.

“I was shocked by some things that have come out now,” Fuglsang told Wielerrevue. “That he drove to Austria to do blood bags in the same period that we trained together for example... How is that possible?

“I remember that I came home after a period with a lot of races and thought 's***, he's really sharp,’” Fuglsang added. “My explanation was that he was just very focused on training and I was a little tired. Now I know the real reason. I had no idea what he was doing. Many people think that I should have known because sometimes we trained together, but he gave no reason to doubt him.”

Since doping has been the hot topic in cycling for decades, the subject was naturally discussed by the two riders as they rode together. Fuglsang’s personal attitude to doping, however - and Rasmussen’s awareness of this - meant that Rasmussen never divulged any of his own personal practices.

“Naturally we talked about doping, as everyone was talking about it in the cycling world,” Fuglsang explained. “But I'm sure Michael knew how I feel about doping. I would absolutely not be interested if he offered something. Maybe it's because I'm from a different generation. I'm happy where I am and want to see how far I can go, as a clean rider. Then I can say afterwards that all my results have been achieved in a fair manner.”

It was not just the extent of Rasmussen’s doping, but also the substances that the Danish rider took that shocked Fuglsang, he told Wielerrevue, with the climber often resorting to veterinary products.

“It shocked me most how many risks he took,” said Fuglsang. “He took blood substitutes that were meant for dogs for example. Then you are playing with your life? That’s how I see it. It amazed me that someone could go so far.”

Although the 2005 and 2006 Tour de France mountains jersey winner was at the top of his profession as Fuglsang was beginning his road career, and the fact that both riders originally came from mountainbiking, the younger rider never held Rasmussen up as an idol, he says.

“Especially since Michael was a climber and I saw myself as a general classification rider,” Fuglsang explained. “He was a good training partner, always willing to do an hour longer. That fact has nothing to do with doping, but says a lot about his mental focus. No, he was never really an idol at all. Maybe it's because I've always wanted to do it in my own way.”

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