Michael Rasmussen claims to have heard from about 50 riders who are eager to join him at the newly-formed Christina's Watches Continental ranked team. The creation of the new Danish team was announced this week, and former pro Michael Blaudzun may soon be announced as the team's first sport director.
"I have CVs of about 50 riders who would like to ride for the team,” Rasmussen told sporten.dk. “These are Spanish, Italian, German and French riders. Apart from some Danish, of course. There are some good riders there. It's names that have raced on the Pro Tour level or been on the podium in major races,” he added, without giving any names.
The new plans have re-ignited Rasmussen's motivation. “I'm so enthusiastic about the sport in all its facets, I can't escape it. Even though I was down for about a day after Bjarne Riis had extinguished the hope of getting to ride for Team Saxo Bank,” the Dane continued. “But it is just not in my nature to give up."
Rasmussen has started making plans for his new team, inviting the current staff of the team and eight U23 riders to live with him in the Lake Garda in Italy, to prepare for the first races of the season in February.
"The idea is that riders must stay with me in Italy for the first three months of the year. It's only an offer, it's not something that we will enforce, but it's an offer the riders have been given. I have apartments which will be rented out in summer, but right now it's a really good place to do winter training. We can easily house 12 people down there for a longer period,” he told spn.dk.
Blaudzun as DS?
37 year-old Michael Blaudzun is negotiating to become the team's sport director, he told the Herning Folkeblad. “We're talking. Now I just have to shut down Team Designa Kitchen and then find out what will happen going forward. I didn't think there are any alternatives.”
Blaudzun had been manager of the small Danish team this season but close it down due to a lack of sponsorship. Blaudzun rode professionally from 1995 to 2008 with Rabobank, Telekom and Team CSC. He and Rasmussen rode together at CSC in 2002.