Miche wants to keep Rasmussen for 2011, seeks Pro Continental status
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Monday, February 15, 2010

Miche wants to keep Rasmussen for 2011, seeks Pro Continental status

by VeloNation Press at 12:34 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Dane Michael Rasmussen was expecting to ride for a Pro Continental team in 2010, but the two-time Tour de France mountains jersey winner ended up on the small Italian Continental team Miche. The move meant that he would have to put off his plans to ride a Grand Tour for at least another year, since only ProTour and Pro Continental teams qualify to participate in the three-week events.

“I had hoped that I would return at a much higher level than what is now the case,” he told Politiken at the time, “but there is so much hypocrisy in cycling that it has not been possible. I have a very clear feeling that many sporting directors wanted me on their teams, but they have simply not dared to hire me because my relationship with the International Cycling Union, the UCI, has not yet been completely clarified, even though I have served my sentence.”

The 35 year old was ejected from the 2007 Tour de France while wearing the Maillot Jaune and, at the time, was the odds-on favorite for overall victory in the race. Rasmussen had lied about his whereabouts in the lead up to the event, claiming he was in Mexico while he was actually in Italy. His deception made it impossible for anti-doping agencies to carry out tests on the rider.

He was given a two year ban for his actions and returned to the sport last summer. Upon his return, he finished second in a criterium in Kjellerup in Denmark, and then went on to win a stage and the overall classification in the Vuelta a Puebla in Mexico. He also took part in the Vuelta Chihuahua Internacional where he won the prologue, finished second on stage four and ended up sixth overall.

Miche's team owner, Marc Tozzi told Feltet.dk last week that the team wanted to keep Rasmussen on board for next season. In 2006 the team had Pro Continental status, and Tozzi says that they will plan for the same in 2011: "For now we are a Continental team, but we're working on becoming a Professional Continental team in the future so we have a chance to ride in the Giro d'Italia and other major races."

Tozzi knows that the job of securing the sponsorship necessary to upgrade the team to Pro Continental status won't be an easy one.

"However, there is an economic crisis throughout the world," he explained, "but it does not change the fact that we are still hoping to expand."


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