Danish rider Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank) started his season with the five day Vuelta a Murcia between March 2-6. He started without any ambitions at all regarding the general classification, since he is directing all his energy for his big goal of the year, the Tour de France. Thus, he gained some valuable competition kilometres in Spain.
"The stages of Murcia are relatively short, so if you are not training extra, eight days might easily pass with only four hours training each day," he said on his website, www.feltet.dk/michaelrasmussen. "That could be a trap to fall into. I have nothing waiting just around the corner, and therefore I do not need to push myself.
"Actually it went quite ok. The days of the 22 km time trial for instance, I added 150 km, and a couple of days later, when we had the finish at the Alto de Collado Bermejo, I rode back to the hotel as well. That made a total of 220 km that day, and a nice week of training after all."
Rasmussen's next race will be the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco from April 4-8. "The intensity will be a bit higher, and since it is a ProTour race the speed of the race will be faster. But I take it as it comes. My objective is not the same as previous years, where I have ridden for the overall classification. The year, it is mainly a question about getting some race kilometres in the legs."