Face-to-face with Contador again
The Tour de San Luis marks the first race that Rasmussen and Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) are back in the same peloton.
It was Contador — who is still facing a possible two-year ban in his long-running clenbuterol case dating back to the 2010 Tour — who ended up winning the 2007 Tour following Rasmussen’s controversial exit.
Rasmussen said he’s spoken a few times to Contador, but refused to say what the pair talked about.
“We’ve spoken a little bit. I saw him once in Denmark, another time in Italy and once in Cancun, but I cannot say what I said to him,” he said. “I have nothing (against him). Now he is the strongest rider at the moment, and five years ago at the Tour, I was the strongest.”
Speaking of Contador, Rasmussen acknowledged that the Spanish climber is the rider of reference right now in the peloton, but admitted he’d like to get back to the sport’s biggest events.
For the San Luis tour, neither Contador nor Rasmussen admit they’re in top shape to fight for the overall for the 2012 season debut.
“A lot of time has passed (since 2007). Contador is the best rider right now and I am nearly 38 years old,” he said. “For me, it’s more important that someone from the team can win a stage, something for the sponsor, and I will do what I can. My career won’t change if I win a stage at the Vuelta a San Luis. It would be different if it were the Giro or Tour. Now the most important thing is the team.”