It may seem like all the pro riders are in the process of renewing or signing new contracts, but one racer has put his future plans on hold. Michael Rasmussen, who withdrew from the Tour de France in July after questions about his whereabouts and missed tests surfaced, said on his website, www.feltet.dk/michaelrasmussen, that he has backed out of new contract negotiations this week while awaiting a meeting with the UCI to sort out his status.
"Actually, I was invited to negotiations for a new contract this week, but I politely turned it down, because I don't want to look like a clown in two months, if I signed a contract that I couldn't meet," said Rasmussen, who rode for Team Rabobank earlier this season.
"I'm the one to wait what happens with the UCI. They are doing some investigations, and everything depends on how that turns out.
"On the whole, it looks quite muddy in terms of the conditions for me in order to be riding next year. I mean, which teams are going to be a possibility, and where the different teams will be riding. It doesn't make it easier that all the structural changes are not yet sorted out," said Rasmussen referring to the ongoing conflict between the UCI and the organizers of the Grand Tour and other European monument events.
"I have an appointment with the UCI in which we have to find out what will happen next. As it is right now, it is not satisfactory for the UCI and neither for me and for cycling in general. We have to sort out what the consequences should be of it all."
Rasmussen added that times are trying for him now and that he would have liked to ride the UCI Road World Championships last weekend; he considered himself a medal contender for the event.