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Rasmussen won't ride in Tour again

09 December 2010 - 17:38 By Sapa-AP

Disgraced former leader Michael Rasmussen has accepted he won’t ride in the Tour de France again.

The 36-year-old Dane has signed up as captain of a new third-tier Continental team after failing to win a contract with Pro Tour outfit Saxo Bank.

Third-tier teams are unable to compete in cycling’s showcase events, like the Tour, and although Rasmussen’s new team hopes to gain Pro Tour status in the next five years, the rider says he is “well aware” he will not be riding by then.

Rasmussen’s new team is backed by watch designer Christina Hembo, who announced on Thursday her company bought an unnamed team.

Rasmussen was leading the Tour in 2007 when he was kicked off his Dutch Rabobank team for lying about his training whereabouts when he missed pre-race doping tests. He was banned for two years.