Dane Michael Rasmussen continued his successful return to cycling, winning the prologue of the Vuelta a Chihuahua in Mexico and taking over the leader's jersey. He now rides for the Mexican Continental Tecos Trek team, and has said that he wants to take out Mexican citizenship.
Rasmussen, 35, won the 4.2-kilometre prologue in a time of 8:44, which was 26 hundredths of a second faster than Daniel Moreno (Caisse d'Epargne). Two Rock Racing riders took third and fourth, respectively Oscar Sevilla and defending champion Francisco Mancebo.
Rasmussen won the Puebla La Vuelta Ciclista San Marcos in Mexico last month.
He returned to racing after serving a two-year suspension on doping-related charges. The International Cycling Union (UCI) reported he misrepresented his whereabouts for doping controls in the period leading up to the Tour de France 2007.
"I'm happy for myself, but mostly for the team," Rasmussen said. "I was ready to race the Vuelta a España but since I could not, I arrived in good condition for the Vuelta a Pueblo, which I won, and Chihuahua. Although the GC is tight, I hope to hold on to this lead until the end.
"I feel young, and hope to remain active and reach the level I was at before."
Tecos team manager Juan Manual Navarro Flores told Marca.com, that the race "is a good test for him. We will now know how far he is after two years without competition."
Rasmussen lacks a contract with Tecos. "We have reached an oral agreement with Rasmussen, but there is still noting on paper," said Navarro Flores. "We will sit down together and set his programme. We don't know whether he will race in Europe."
Rasmussen, whose wife is Mexican, is also looking to take on Mexican citizenship. "Rasmussen has started the procedure to become Mexican, but also wants to keep his Danish nationality," Navarro Flores continued.