Rasmussen: ‘I was robbed of 2007 Tour’

  • By Andrew Hood
  • Published Jan. 24, 2012
  • Updated Jan. 31, 2012 at 6:15 PM EDT
It was a gray day on the first stage of the 2012 Tour de San Luis. Photo: Tour de San Luis |

Second chance with Christina Watches

Rasmussen says it’s hard to watch as other banned riders such as Ivan Basso and Alejandro Valverde are welcomed back to the sport while many within the sport have ostracized him.

After serving his ban, he’s only been able to find small, low-level teams who were interested in signing the controversial rider. An effort to return to Bjarne Riis in 2010 was eventually scuttled when Riis checked out how the reaction would be to Rasmussen’s return.

“I was speaking with Riis for three or four months. He wanted me, but he was sincere and said, ‘Michael, I have to get the approval from various people,’” he said. “Some of these people told him not to sign me.”

Rasmussen’s quandary caught the attention of Danish watch company, Christina Watches, which has signed him to a five-year deal starting last year to give him a second chance at racing.

So far, the continental team has not received invitations to race in the top-tier events, but Rasmussen remains optimistic the team can reach pro-continental status, perhaps as soon as next season, and open the door to more prestigious races.

“When they take nearly everything away from your life and then you get a second chance, you can dream again, it’s a special feeling,” he said. “My encounter with Christina Watches has changed my life, they gave a second opportunity. I can do what I love doing, which is cycling. And that’s why we’ve given a second chance to Stefan Schumacher (another controversial rider signed by the team this year – ed.)”

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Andrew Hood

Andrew Hood

Andrew Hood cut his journalistic teeth at Colorado dailies before the web boom opened the door to European cycling in the mid-1990s. Hood has covered every Tour de France since 1996 and has been VeloNews' European correspondent since 2002.

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