Rasmussen for Murcia AMPO team and Vuelta?
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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Rasmussen for Murcia AMPO team and Vuelta?

by Conal Andrews at 6:26 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Danish rider Michael Rasmussen’s aim to ride a Grand Tour in 2010 would seem to centre around the Vuelta a España, if reports are accurate that he is poised to sign with the AMPO Contentpolis team.

The Spanish squad has experienced financial difficulties but has reportedly secured backing from the Murcia region, plus ongoing support from AMPO. It will thus be known as the Murcia AMPO team in 2010.

Rasmussen’s move to the team is predicted by Spanish website As.com, and is dependant on that backing being in place.

It says that the team has permission of the UCI to sign him, plus a statement that his biological passport is in order.

The 35 year old is a double winner of the Tour de France’s mountains competition, but it is unlikely that he would be welcome back at the race after being expelled by his Rabobank team during the 2007 edition. He was leading the race at the time but was removed as pressure grew over misleading information he gave prior to the Tour.

Rasmussen had said that he was in Mexico but was actually training in Italy, thus making it impossible for him to undergo out of competition testing.

He incurred a two year ban and returned to racing earlier this year, finishing second in a criterium in Kjellerup in Denmark, then winning a stage plus the overall classification in the Vuelta a Puebla in Mexico. He was also first in the prologue of the Vuelta Chihuahua Internacional there, second on stage four and sixth overall.

Rasmussen and Alexandre Vinokourov are currently both appealing the UCI’s decision to fine them a year’s salary over their anti-doping sanctions. They can both race until the Court of Arbitration for Sport makes a ruling.

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