Alex Rasmussen will not return to Garmin-Sharp in 2014, and has expressed interest in going back to Bjarne Riis and Saxo-Tinkoff. The Dane said that he was told after the Vuelta a Espana that, contrary to earlier indications, he would not be offered a new contract with Garmin.
Rasmussen joined the US-based team in 2012, but was subsequently given a backdated 18-month suspension for whereabouts failures. However the team stood by the rider throughout the period and took him on again when his ban ended this past spring.
He told the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet that team manager Jonathan Vaughters had earlier told him the contract would be renewed, only to hear otherwise later.
“I got a message from Vaughters during the Tour that he wanted to sign a new contract with me, but then I got a message, that there was no room for me anyway,” he said. That message arrived “just after the Vuelta , but it was perhaps not so much me but the whole team at the Vuelta that Vaughters was a little mad at.”
He told DR Sporten, “I'm super annoyed when I only had a half a season with the team, during which I won a race and completed the Vuelta.” He won the first stage of the Bayern Rundfahrt, shortly after his return to racing.
As to whether he might still possibly have a future with Garmin, Rasmussen told Ekstra Bladet, “You never know with Vaughters , he can change from one day to the other. First I was told that I could go on, then I got the message that it was not possible. I think it's a little ... I'm not happy to know about it so late in the season. When he first says he will extend .. If I had now been told during the Tour, I would have had time to look about for a new team.”
Rasmussen rode for Saxo Bank in 2009 and 2010, and “I have tried to mention it to Bjarne if I could get the Saxo-Tinkoff next year. Otherwise I have to keep all doors open and hope to get a team for next year,” he said to DR Sporten.
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