Most of the expectations for this season have been met by Michael Rasmussen during this year’s Tour de France, where he scored a stage victory in La Toussuire as well as the polkadot jersey of the mountains classification. Yet he is motivated to do well in the Vuelta a España starting August 26, too. "I believe that I can find some of the form from the Tour," he told Danish feltet.dk. "I made it quite OK through the Tour and I am not as tired as last year. I would say that I am motivated and looking forward to the task. Of course I am not as motivated as before the Tour, which was the top priority of the season, but I hope that I can get into the race in a good way, and then we will have to see how far it goes."
The lean climber nevertheless expects to suffer in the last week of the race. "During the last week of the Vuelta I will probably have to pay for what I did in July, but I will start out hard," he continued. "During the first week there are three stages that finish uphill, and in fact that is the time where the classification will be set, so, who knows what it will look like after that," he speculated.
The Dutch Rabobank team lines up with a strong line of riders, including last year’s winner Denis Menchov. Yet Rasmussen expects to be given the freedom to seek his own chance during the Spanish stage race. "I believe that we are given free reins," he explained. "Both of us more or less met the expectations for the Tour, and everything that comes after that is just a bonus. We also have Freire, and he will be motivated - after all we are approaching WC-time. I definitely think we can expect something from him during the Vuelta. He has Horrillo to back him up, and hopefully he will ride fast too. And then we have to get Ardila back on track, and we hope that he will do better that during the Giro. So, at least we have a few cards to play."
After the Vuelta, the last major highlight of the season are the World Championships for Rasmussen, who decided unlike last year not to cancel his attendance, at least not for the time being. "I will not cancel my participation in advance," he declared. "But first of all we will have to see a preliminary squad. Once that has been appointed I will have a closer look at my possibilities. Nothing is certain in advance. I have not spoken to anyone from the DCU (Danish Cycling Union), and they haven’t contacted me."
However, Rasmussen feels that his effort during the Vuelta will decide the outcome of his participation in the World Championships. "If I am not on top during the final week of the Vuelta, I might say ‘no thanks’, but as a starting point I am interested in riding," he added.
On a personal level, the Rabobank rider is currently busy with moving into a new house together with his wife and baby. "I am quite busy, because I am in the middle of a move to our new house, and at the same time I am tired after the Tour," he concluded. "So, time is spent between training and packing things in boxes. We are living in between houses at the moment. It is difficult to ride 150 km each day and manage to move in a single day as well. It doesn’t go that fast."