Michael Rasmussen and his team Christina Watches-Onfone continue to dream of being at the start of the Giro d'Italia in Denmark next year. The controversial Dane also claimed that his squad had ambitions of signing big name riders in a bid to strengthen their prospects.
“If you had enough money, you could hire Denis Menchov,” Rasmussen told the Ritzau news agency. “It's certainly something we'd like, but there is great demand for such riders. That means you must have a great many millions if you want to sign riders of that calibre.
“A rider of that level alone costs about 10 million a year. So you can quickly use up your budget.”
This year's Giro is currently in northern Italy, near Rasmussen's home, but he has not yet had talks with the race management about the possibility of the team participating next year when the Giro starts in Herning, Denmark.
“I know how stressful the people are at the Giro d'Italia. It is totally impossible to have a long serious conversation. This is something we can do after the Giro d'Italia.”
The biggest problem that Christina Watches faces is that it must move up from Continental to Professional Continental ranking, which would mean a a significant increase in budget. The search for additional sponsors has begun, and Rasmussen is already making up his wish list of riders for the coming year.
"I have a list on paper with the riders, which I would very much like to get. But there's a lot to fall into place,” he said, while refusing to name the names.
Christina Watches-Onfone has taken a solitary victory in 2011, through Michael Reihs at the Himmerland Rundt. Rasmussen's best result thus far has been 8th place at the GP Herning. Although Rasmussen was also among the riders named in the Mantova investigation in April, he has been supported by his team.