By Andrew Hood
Michael Rasmussen is heading back to a European-based team.
That’s according to Rasmussen, 35, who confirmed to the Danish newspaper Politiken that he’s poised to announce his return to a European team.
“I won’t say which team it is until everything is settled. I expect it to be before the Oct. 31 deadline set by the UCI,” Rasmussen told the Danish daily. “By February, I hope to line up for the Ruta del Sol.”
Rasmussen — who was removed from the 2007 Tour de France just four days short of victory over inconsistencies in his pre-Tour whereabouts — admitted that his two-year ban has hit him in the pocket book.
“I won’t be making the money I was on before my ban,” he said. “But I won’t be starting from scratch, either.”
Efforts to return to the peloton following the conclusion of his ban this summer faltered. Though he was reportedly close to finding a team to race in time for the Vuelta a España, officials imposed time limit rules that kept him out of the Spanish tour.
He eventually raced for a team based in Mexico and won the Vuelta a Puebla with the Tecos-Trek team and finished sixth overall at the Vuelta a Chihuahua.
Rasmussen was the center of a media storm concerning questions about his whereabouts and his availability for out-of-competition tests in the weeks leading up to the start of the 2007 Tour.
Although he never failed a doping control, Rasmussen was later banned for two years by the Monaco cycling federation (where Rasmussen held a license) for missing out-of-competition controls. That ban ended in July.