AMPO Murcia team reported to be in trouble, Rasmussen stranded?
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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

AMPO Murcia team reported to be in trouble, Rasmussen stranded?

by Conal Andrews at 10:07 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

As mentioned on VeloNation three days ago, the AMPO Murcia team has been trying to acquire the signature of former Tour de France King of the Mountains Michael Rasmussen. It reportedly had the permission of the UCI to sign him, plus a statement that his biological passport is in order.

However that deal now looks under serious threat with the news that the team is poised on the brink of collapse.

According to Marca.com, the team has still not secured the support of AMPO, which it needs in order to register with the UCI today. Unless it gets a last-minute pledge of backing, it looks like the Murcian team will cease to exist.

Named Contentpolis – Ampo in 2009, the team had a solid season with seven good wins clocked up. Its riders took a stage in the Volta a Catalunya, one stage plus the overall in the GP CTT Correios de Portugal, the Volta a Portugal em Bicicletta, plus three stage victories in the Vuelta a Chihuahua.

Rasmussen’s signature would elevate it to a new level, though, as the rider would in theory give them the chance to race for stages and the overall classification in Grand Tours. He appeared poised to win the 2007 Tour de France but was ejected by his team close to the end of the race due to controversy over out of competition testing.

He served a two year suspension but returned to racing this autumn. The Dane finished 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 plus sixth overall.

However, if he was relying on the AMPO Murcia team for 2010, he’s likely to be searching for other options at this point. Barring a miracle, things look bleak indeed for the Spanish squad.

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