Rasmussen returns to racing

Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank)

Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank) (Image credit: Makoto Ayano)

Michael Rasmussen has returned to competitive racing for the first time since his Rabobank ProTour squad withdrew him from the Tour de France, while he was leading the Grand Tour, and fired the rider. The Dane contested the Tour de Charlottenlund in Denmark on Monday, in front of some 20,000 spectators.

The 33 year-old said he's continuing to keep his form as he 'juggles options' on signing with a new squad. "I'm juggling a few options, and we'll see what happens," Rasmussen told Ritzau. "Hopefully this is a new beginning."

Unlike his final days in the Tour, where he was booed by the crowd when signing on for a stage, his compatriots applauded the rider, with some reportedly sporting shirts claiming him as the real Tour winner. Rasmussen's Tour campaign was derailed after weeks of intense media pressure, following revelations the rider failed on multiple occasions to file his whereabouts to anti-doping authorities. While his Dutch team stood by the rider originally, it learned that the Dane allegedly lied to it about his whereabouts at those times, prompting his dismissal.

Rabobank's team manager Theo De Rooy has since stepped down from the team, while the Dutch banking conglomerate has launched its own investigation into the events that transpired.

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