Sorensen thinks Rasmussen may fail in search for team
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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sorensen thinks Rasmussen may fail in search for team

by Conal Andrews at 7:22 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

The chances of former Tour de France race leader Michael Rasmussen coming back to pro cycling this year look increasingly unlikely, ex-professional Rolf Sorensen has stated.

“I fear that Michael Rasmussen will be hard-pressed to find a new team at the moment,” the Danish TV commentator told Sporten.dk. “Time is now really working against him. I had really hoped that he would have been ready with a new team by now.”

Rasmussen (35) is a double winner of the Tour de France’s mountains competition and looked likely to win the 2007 race before he was ejected from the event by his then-Rabobank team. He had lied about his whereabouts before the race, thus making it impossible for the UCI to do anti-doping tests.

He incurred a two year ban and returned to racing last autumn, 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 was rumoured to be joining the Murcia AMPO team for 2010 but it collapsed due to financial difficulties. There has been no news since about a possible berth elsewhere.

His agent Mads Frederiksen hints that something could yet be possible. “There is nothing new in terms of Michael’s future,” he stated, before adding: “we are still in talks, but until there is something more concrete, we will not comment.”

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.

This may be complicating things, and so too the fact that he has been linked to an anti-doping investigation concerning the Humanplasma lab in Vienna. Sorensen certainly feels that the latter is a possible reason.

“I didn’t hear Michael’s name mentioned once in the international network about changes in the rider market,” he said. “Maybe it’s because of the case from Austria. There is still a buzz from the authorities and therefore this could be scaring interested teams away.”

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