After turning Pro in 2009 and earning four wins in 2010, Rasmussen has found his niche as a Short Time Trial specialist. He plans to develop his sprinting with Highroad, and is shooting for a prologue win in a grand tour this year. Off the bike, Alex enjoys refueling on ratatouille and listening to Mew (danish alternative).
A four-times World Track Champion and an Olympic track silver medallist at 26, Alex Rasmussen’s new goal for 2011 will be exploiting his potential on the road 100 percent - with Team HTC-Highroad. “I’ve done all I want to on the track for now,” the Danish rider says, “it’s time to hit the road and see if I can be equally successful in bunch sprints, time trialling and the Classics.”
Rasmussen has already done pretty well in all three areas: already Danish national road champion in 2007 when he was just 23, last year alone he racked up four wins. It’s an indication of Rasmussen natural versatility that two of those 2010 victories were sprint stages in the prestigious Four Days of Dunkirk, the third was a time trial in the Tour of Andalusia, and the fourth was in the GP Herning, Denmark’s equivalent to Paris-Roubaix. “I’ll be doing all the Belgian Classics this spring, which is something that wasn’t possible when I was concentrating on the World Track Championships that are held at the same time,” Rasmussen explains, “And naturally I’m very curious, too, to see what I can do in Paris-Roubaix.”
Rasmussen seems confident about his chances on the road but then he has already made some big changes in his career. Inspired to start riding a bike by his father Klaus, who raced for Denmark in the Olympic Games in 1984, he started out on the track as a sprinter before moving onto endurance events, taking gold at both junior and senior level in the scratch as well as in the Madison and team pursuit. “I coincided a lot with [HTC-Highroad] Mark Cavendish back when he was more into track racing,” Rasmussen recalls, “I rode against him in the famous Ghent velodrome in Belgium, then we were both World track Champions in Los Angeles back in 2005. Our paths crossed again when we were amateur road-racers in the Tour of Berlin in 2006, he won the sprint stages and I won the time trial and the overall. One big objective at HTC-Highroad for me is to see if I could end up working in Mark’s leadout train in the Tour de France, although I’d like to see how fast I am in the sprints in other races, too!”
A gifted time triallist, Rasmussen has plenty of other goals for his debut year in HTC-Highroad, amongst them the Paris-Nice prologue and strong rides in the cobbled Classics. “My biggest disadvantage right now, whatever the area, is a lack of experience. For example, I’m going to have to find my feet in those 260 kilometre full-length Classics. But other top track riders like Theo Bos [from Holland] have successfully switched career paths, so I wouldn’t be the first.”
“This year even a top 20 result for me in say, Paris-Roubaix, would be amazing. After that, anything can happen.”