Indications that Rasmussen’s team Christina Watches has secured Continental licence
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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Indications that Rasmussen’s team Christina Watches has secured Continental licence

by VeloNation Press at 7:24 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Main sponsor claims UCI application was successful

Michael Rasmussen Christina HemboThe Christina Watches team of Michael Rasmussen appears to have succeeded in its bid to secure a Continental licence for 2011, with chief sponsor Christina Hembo confirming in media reports that the UCI has given a green light to its application.

“As expected, my team has been approved by the UCI today,” she told Feltet.dk. “There have been press reports which have raised doubts about whether Christina Watches could be accepted or not. I’ve been completely baffled [by those] as we have met all the requirements for finances, riders and team structure in general. While I’ve never doubted that we would be approved, it is in any case a nice moment for everyone to be able to put a line through the unwarranted doubts that there have been. Christina Watches is clear to race!”

Rasmussen has faced a long fight to come back from a two year doping suspension imposed after the 2007 Tour de France. He was sanctioned for lying about his whereabouts before the event, which he looked certain to win until his then-Rabobank team removed him from the race.

It had been under a considerable degree of media pressure to act after it emerged that the rider had not been in Mexico before the event, but rather was training in Italy.

Hembo has said that she believes everyone deserves a second chance, and undertook to pay Rasmussen’s wages when he was negotiating with Saxo Bank about a contract for 2011. When those talks were eventually unsuccessful, she and the Danish climber announced plans to set up a Continental team this season which they hope will expand in the years ahead. The goal is to secure a place in the 2016 Tour de France.

As Feltet points out, the UCI website confirms that 11 riders have been signed thus far. They are Rasmussen, Michael Reiher, Pelle Clapp, Mads Hardahl, Guytan Lilholt, Martin Lind, Jakob Madsen, Daniel Malmros, Jesper Odgaard, Mads Steen and Daniel Vestergaard.

More riders are expected to be announced in the near future. Rasmussen said that there had been a very considerable interest in the new team, the 36 year old stating that had had applications from 100 riders.

He recently confirmed that his former CSC team-mate Michael Blaudzun would act as directeur sportif.

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