Alex Rasmussen aiming for Spring Classics and a spot in Cavendish's leadout train
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Alex Rasmussen aiming for Spring Classics and a spot in Cavendish's leadout train

by Jered Gruber at 1:40 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
HTC-High Road signing looking to improve on 2010 season, which saw young Dane win four races

2011 HTC-High Road signing, Alex Rasmussen, looks ready to continue the progress of 2010 in some of the world's biggest races. The rider, who originally excelled on the track, spent the last two seasons racing for Saxo Bank. 2010 was the rider's best year yet with victories in the Vuelta Andalucia's individual time trial, two bunch sprint stage wins at the Four Days of Dunkirk, and the GP Herning, along with a plethora of top placings throughout the long year.

Moving over to Bob Stapleton's HTC-High Road team, the opportunities look to be growing exponentially.

Rasmussen will start his season with the Tour of Oman (February 15-20). Just under a week later, he'll take to the cobbles of Flanders for Belgium's opening weekend double of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne on Sunday.

Following the Belgian racing, Rasmussen will head to France for Paris-Nice from the 6-13 March. Three days later, he'll be back in Belgium for the Nokere Koerse - a race that he should have a great chance of winning. The big races kick into high gear after that with the E3 Prijs, Gent-Wevelgem, the Three Days of De Panne, the Scheldeprijs, and finally, the Hell of the North, Paris-Roubaix.

"I am super happy with the program since it was just what I wanted," says the talented sprinter and time trialist to, the website he shares with long-time track partner, Michael Morkov.

With the first part of the season focused mainly on the tough Classics in Belgium, the team will sit down with Rasmussen to determine the next part of the year. Depending on how everything goes up until April, it could go in a lot of different directions. Of course, the big hope is a chance to race the Tour de France.

"[The first part of the season] is virtually all one-day races in Belgium. Once this program is over, I will have a little break before I get my next program. It depends on whether I race the Tour or not. I need it, so that I can continue to get some big races to improve. It depends a lot on my though. If I show that I can do it, then I'll probably get the chance."

There's no doubt that HTC-High Road saw a lot of possibilities in Rasmussen. He's a great time trialist, a great prospect for the Classics, but he's also a fantastic sprinter. For a team that counts a certain Mark Cavendish in its stable, the more young, developing sprinters they can have as leadout men for Cavendish, the better. A Tour de France leadout with first, Bernhard Eisel, then Alex Rasmussen, followed by Mark Renshaw, and topped off by Mark Cavendish would be a marvelous train to behold.

"Already in Oman, I'll get the chance to [be a part of Cavendish's train] when both Cavendish and Renshaw start. I can help them and be the third man in front of Cavendish. I hope to show that I am a strong rider."


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