Eyebrows were raised when Rasmus Guldhammer decided take a step down from the professional ranks with HTC-Highroad last season but the 22-year-old has found his feet in the U23 ranks again and believes he could return to the pro ranks in the future.
Guldhammer turned professional with HTC in 2010 and was seen as a highly rated climber having won Liege-Bastogne-Liege as a U23 rider in 2009. However his debut season began to unravel during the spring of 2010 as he lost motivation and eventually ended his time as a pro rider.
“I think I maybe have turned professional too soon,” he told Cyclingnews.
“I don’t think I was ready in my head to turn pro. But I took the chance and turned pro and even though it didn’t work, I’m happy for the experience. But I’ more happy to have the happiness and the passion about this sport back.”
Guldhammer signed for Danish team Concordia Forsikring - Himmerland at the start of this season and has so far has reveled in his new environment, securing two wins, and another top ten placing. On Saturday he will line up in the U23 Liege-Bastogne-Liege, the scene of that all-important win back in 2009.
“I’ve got a smile on my face again and that’s the most important thing for me,” he said the night before the race.
“In 2010 I had some problems getting motivated for the races in June, and after the Tour of Denmark I just didn’t have the energy to travel and do races, because I was not ready in my head. But this year I’ve found my passion.”
So could we see Guldhammer make a dramatic turn around and move back into the pro ranks again? Possibly. He has a contract for the next year but has already thought about the prospect of having a second crack in the WorldTour and while he points no finger of blame at HTC and would even consider returning to them, he’s also picked out another team.
“I think I would like to try again because I have more in me then I showed last year. Maybe at HTC, you never know, but I have to take one year at a time, but a team like Saxo Bank also appeals. I think Bjarne Riis would be a good mentor for someone like me.”