Michael Rasmussen still intends to come back to the highest level of the sport at the Tour de France. The Dane is convinced that he could still win the Tour, if he ever has the chance to ride it again. He said that he still has “a huge passion” for racing, and will continue to “fight on”.
“I'm not 23 years anymore, but nevertheless, I think I have three good years in me yet. If Lance Armstrong can walk around with a hope of winning the Tour de France this summer, I don't see why I should not also allow myself the same hope," he said in an interview with Sport Magazine LPS; to be aired on Danish television TV2 Thursday night.
Rasmussen was leading the Tour de France in 2007 when team Rabobank withdrew him and subsequently terminated his contract. He was found to have lied about his whereabouts while training for the Tour, and served a two-year suspension. Since returning to cycling in 2009, he has ridden for Mexican team Tecos Trek and is currently with the Italian Continental team Miche Silver Cross.
He said that he will not give up, according to the Danish website sporten.dk. “No. I will not because I have a very huge passion for what I do, and because I still believe I can become one of the world's best again, and until I have exhausted all possibilities, I will fight on.”
The way back has not been an easy one for him, Rasmussen admitted. “There have been days where I have sat and cried over some of the situations I have come in. So I get off the bike 40 kilometres away from my house and have had to call my wife and say: I don't f**king know how to get home because I just have no energy.”
To ride the Tour de France, the 35-year-old would have to move up from a Continental team, and that has proved to be a problem. The big teams are reluctant to hire him, he said, calling them “hypocritical.”
“I have certainly been discouraged by the official bodies who sit on the power of cycling. They have obviously managed to convince the teams that it is a really bad idea to sign a contract with me.”