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Michael Rasmussen on his stage-winning ride in Chihuahua.
Expert sees slim chances for Dane's return
Michael Rasmussen's chances of returning to the peloton seem to be slipping away. The Dane still does not have a contract for this season.
“I fear that Michael Rasmussen will be hard pressed to find a new team at the moment,” Danish television commentator and and former rider Rolf Sorensen told sporten.dk. “Time is beginning to work against him in earnest, and I had really hoped that he would have been ready with a new team now."
Rasmussen, 35, was leading the Tour de France 2007 when his Rabobank team removed him from the race for violating the anti-doping “whereabouts” requirements. He was subsequently suspended for two years, and was eligible to return in July 29.
He rode the Vuelta a Chihuahua in Mexico last fall for Team Tecos Trek, winning the opening time trial and wearing the leader's jersey for three stages.
Since then, he has been linked to various European teams at different levels, and has said he wants to return to the ProTour this year, but so far nothing has come of it.
His name has also been connected with the blood doping scheme in Austria, where he has been named as the co-owner, along with Bernhard Kohl, of a blood centrifuge.
“I don't hear Michael's name mentioned in my international network talks about changes in the riders' market,” Sorensen said. “Maybe it's because of the case from Austria, still buzzing from the authorities, and therefore scaring away interested teams.”
Rasmussen's manager, Mads Frederiksen, said, “There is nothing new in terms of Michael Rasmussen's future. We're still in dialogue, but until there is something more concrete, we will have nothing to say.”