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Danes hail chance of Giro d'Italia start in 2012

By:
Cycling News
Published:
April 01, 2011, 8:27 BST,
Updated:
April 01, 2011, 9:54 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Friday, April 1, 2011
Matti Breschel (Rabobank) chats with race leader Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto)

Matti Breschel (Rabobank) chats with race leader Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto)

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Breschel eager to ride, Rasmussen to raise money in hopes of invitation

Danish cyclists have greeted the news that the Giro d'Italia may start in Denmark in 2012 with enthusiasm. Matti Breschel of Rabobank called it “something special,” while Michael Rasmussen of Team Christina Watches started making plans to move his team up to Professional Continental status in the hope of a wild card invitation.

On Thursday, Danish website dr.dk speculated that a press conference on Friday by the mayor of Herning, Denmark, was organised be to announce the Giro 2012 start. Herning is the hometown of Bjarne Riis, the only Dane to have won the Tour de France and owner of Team Saxo Bank-SunGard.

“If such a big race like the Giro d'Italia starts in Denmark, then it is clear that you want to ride it. It is something special to be at the start here at home,” Breschel told DR Sports.

The Rabobank rider has only ridden the Giro once, in 2007. “It is a very hard race and in recent years has not had particularly good weather,” he said. “But if it started on Danish soil, then it will definitely be worth riding.”

Rasmussen needs 30 to 40 million Danish Kroner

“If it is true, then it is a golden opportunity for Danish cycling and for us in particular," Rasmussen told sporten.dk. His plan is to raise enough money this summer to move his team up to Professional Continental status and work for a wild-card invitation.

“A realistic estimate is that by mid-August we will have raised from 30 to 40 million, so we can provide a bank guarantee to the UCI, which means that we can find such good riders that we can come into play for the Giro d'Italia,” he said.

“There are enough wealthy people around Herning. We must get a hold of them."

He acknowledged that it would be difficult to convince new backers as his team is still new and very young. “There is no doubt that we'll be busy,” Rasmussen said. “It's a long way. The truth is that it's simple to create a good cycling team if you have a millionaire from Luxembourg behind you. The hard part is finding him.”

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