Riis 'leaving door open' for Rasmussen
Switch to SunGard Saxo Bank could mean chicken's return to the big time
Michael Rasmussen could be back on the ProTour next year riding next to Alberto Contador. The Dane has made no secret of his desire to return to the big time and Bjarne Riis has been sounding positive about a possible move.
Rasmussen was kicked off the 2007 Tour de France while wearing the polka dot jersey, and was subsequently fired by Rabobank, after inconsistencies in his training records came to light. Former pro Davide Cassani spotted the big Dane training in the Dolomites when his diary said he was in Mexico, and Rasmussen was handed a ban for the deception.
The suspension was never popular in Denmark with many commentators feeling that Rasmussen was treated unfairly, so it's not a huge surprise to find that fellow countryman Riis, who admitted in 2007 that he had doped in the past, is considering offering 'the chicken' a return to the big time. Riis is quoted in The Copenhagen Post as saying he would ‘leave the door open’ for Rasmussen.
‘Naturally I’m interested,’ said Riis. ‘Michael deserves the chance to make a comeback. Whether it’s with me or someone else I don’t know, but I’m certainly going to consider him.’
Rasmussen for his part is naturally optimistic about the possible hook-up ‘For me it would be a perfect scenario to ride for Riis with Alberto Contador,’ he said. ‘I don’t think it’s an unrealistic hope but obviously it’s Bjarne’s decision in the end.’