Michael Rasmussen made a successful return to competition at the Mexican national race, Puebla La Vuelta Ciclista San Marcos. The Dane won the second stage of the event while racing for the regional Tecos Trek squad, and took over the race lead.
Rasmussen, who was expelled from the 2007 Tour de France by his now former Rabobank team while wearing the yellow jersey, finished a two-year suspension for violating the UCI's whereabouts rules on July 25, 2009.
Rasmussen demolished the competition on the mountainous 110km stage from Zacatlán to Zacapoaxtla, and now leads the tour by 9:41 ahead of teammate Bernardo Colex and 10:56 ahead of another Tecos/Trek rider Georgino Ladino.
"We worked very well as a team today and they are the reason that we are doing so well," Rasmussen said after the stage. "This was a very hard stage today. But, we have a very strong team and I believe we will be able to continue controlling the race until Puebla. I have enjoyed racing at the Vuelta Ciclista a Puebla."
The trio now hold the same gaps in the top three of the general classification heading into the 125km third stage from Nopalucan de la Granja to Tehuacán.
Rasmussen had hoped to race this year's Vuelta a Espana, but he was unable to secure a contract with a team which was invited to the race in time to meet the registration rules.