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Christina Watches-Onfone looks to strengthen team for Tour of Denmark

By:
Cycling News
Published:
May 31, 2011, 11:02 BST,
Updated:
May 31, 2011, 13:26 BST
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Michael Blaudzun, Christina Hembo and Michael Rasmussen

Michael Blaudzun, Christina Hembo and Michael Rasmussen

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Rasmussen eligible for national team, federation says

With the news that Christina Watches-Onfone will ride the Tour of Denmark, the small Danish team is preparing to go on a shopping expedition. And team captain Michael Rasmussen has been told that he might be allowed to ride the world championships in Copenhagen this fall.

The Danish Cycling Union (DCU), which organizes the national tour, announced this week that the last invitation had been given to Christina Watches-Onfone.

Team manager Claus Hembo said that the team is now looking to add additional riders in time for the race. “We are working on whether we can strengthen ourselves further now that participation in the Tour of Denmark is a fact. We are talking WorldTour riders on par with Angelo Furlan,” he told the Ritzau news agency.

The team signed Furlan, who had previously ridden for Lampre and Credit Agricole among other teams, in the middle of March. He has brought in one of the team's two wins this year, at the Tallinn-Tartu GP last week.

The finances should not be a problem, Hembo added. “We have 33 sponsors, and the finances of the team are excellent.”

Chance to ride the world championships

Rasmussen may be able to ride the world championships this year, as well. The DCU said that there are no legal problems to his participation on the national team.

“Theoretically there is no problem in it. But he has not shown Worlds form yet, so it is perhaps going a step too far,” DCU President Tom Lund told Ritzau.

Rasmussen has had a stormy relationship with his national federation over the years, exacerbated by his two-year suspension in 2007 for lying about his whereabouts whilst training for the Tour de France.

The Dane, who turns 37 on Wednesday, will be regarded the same as other candidates for the national team, but is far from assured of a place on the team, which will be awarded on sporting qualifications.

“It becomes coach Lars Bonde's task to evaluate things. But the DCU has no restrictions," Lund said.

Rasmussen has in the past discussed the possibility of taking on Mexican citizenship, but it has not happened.

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