Rasmussen to announce his new team on Thursday

Personal sponsor Hembo said to have secured a Continental licence

Michael Rasmussen will be captain of the Continental-ranked team Christina Watches team next year, according to reports in several Danish media.  His personal sponsor, Christina Hembo, is said to have already secured a licence for the team from the International Cycling Union.

“It's true but I will not comment on it now. We will hold a news conference tomorrow,” Hembo told the Danish news agency Ritzau.

Rasmussen served a two-year suspension on doping-related charges, stemming from his preparations for the 2007 Tour de France.  When the ban ended in July 2009, he rode for the small Mexican team Tecos-Trek, and rode the first half of this year for Miche-Silver Cross. Since July he has ridden for Christina Racing, sponsored by Hembo, as the team's only rider.

The 36-year-old had hoped for a contract with Team Saxo Bank-SunGard for 2011 but team owner Bjarne Riis refused to make him an offer, leaving Rasmussen “in a state of shock”.

Hembo announced last month that she would try to create a team, with Rasmussen captain and part owner. Both Hembo and Rasmussen took part in the Danish version of the 'Dancing With the Stars' television show.

Hembo, 32, has a degree from the University of Arts London. She designs diamond- encrusted watches, which are sold in more than 25 countries worldwide. Hembo was named female Danish Entrepreneur of the Year in 2008, and Growth Adventurer of the Year 2009.

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