Dane hopes to also ride the Tour de France for Garmin-Barracuda
Alex Rasmussen plans to win the prologue of the Giro d'Italia in his native Denmark. But the Garmin-Barracuda rider is also looking forward to many of the other stages, except for the final week, “which looks completely insane.”
It will be Rasmussen's second appearance at the Italian Grand Tour. He rode it last year for HTC-Highroad, with his best result a close second place finish in the closing time trial to now current teammate David Millar.
“There is no doubt that I want to win the prologue. I have been thinking and talking about it a lot,” he said in an interview with feltet.dk.
But it is about more than riding a Grand Tour. “It means a lot to me that I get to ride Giro in Denmark, especially since I was not allowed to run the Worlds at home because of my 'whereabouts' case. So this is my second chance to be allowed to ride something big at home, so it is obviously very large. "
He was temporarily suspended last September when the UCI announced he had three violations of the “whereabouts” rules, and he was removed from the Danish world championship team. He was cleared of the charges on procedural grounds. The UCI has appealed that decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), and the hearing is scheduled for May 16, in the middle of the Giro.
"I have much respect for the Giro, but there are also many stages that I can look forward to, like the prologue, the flat stages for Tyler [Farrar] and the team time trial. Then of course there is also the last week, which looks completely insane, so there I must wait to see how it goes.”
Five of the last eight stages are mountain stages, with the race's queen stage coming on the penultimate stage. It contains five ranked climbs, finishing off with the Mortirolo and a mountaintop finish on the Stelvio, with an elevation of 2,758 meters for the latter.
Whether Rasmussen will still be around for those ferocious climbs “probably also depends on whether I should ride the Tour de France.” He had hoped to make his Tour debut last season, setting up sprints for Mark Cavendish, but was not selected.
"Just like last year, so it is also this year up to me to prove that I should ride the Tour de France. I'm going out to prove my worth to the team and for Tyler. If he thinks it's cool and he can trust me, there's a good chance that I can be the Tour. So it all depends on me.”