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Italian team Acqua & Sapone says signing Rasmussen would be too expensive

Italian team Acqua & Sapone says signing Rasmussen would be too expensive

Michael Rasmussen may be too expensive for Italian cycling team Acqua & Sapone.
Team director Palmiro Masciarelli met with Rasmussen last week to discuss whether the 33-year-old Dane could finish the season with Acqua & Sapone, but said Tuesday that the deal would cost too much.
"We're still looking into it, but it seems difficult. It's not like we can get him for free," Masciarelli.
Rasmussen was kicked out of this year's Tour de France_ while leading the race _ by his Dutch team Rabobank for allegedly lying about his whereabouts to evade doping tests. Rasmussen has denied those accusations.
Masciarelli said he was not bothered by the allegations facing Rasmussen, but that his team cannot afford signing Rasmussen, since the Dane also wants a contract for next season.
"It would be too much for a team like ours," Masciarelli said. "If we sign Rasmussen we would have to get another five or six riders to support him in big races."
Acqua & Sapone already has Stefano Garzelli as a lead rider for multi-stage races.
There have also been reports that the Russian-owned Tinkoff squad was interested in Rasmussen.
"There hasn't been any contact," Tinkoff team manager Omar Piscina said. "With the cases we've had this year _ (Tyler) Hamilton and (Danilo) Hondo _ we're going to be very attentive to which riders we sign in the future. It taught us a lot. Things have changed. We're focusing on our younger riders."
Hamilton was suspended by Tinkoff after the Spanish doping investigation Operation Puerto was reopened earlier this year and Hondo abandoned his legal fight against a two-year suspension for doping.


Updated : 2021-06-23 17:38 GMT+08:00