Nowhere has the impact of Michael Rasmussen’s removal from the Tour de France been felt more strongly than in his native Denmark. The press and the public are reeling. Some on the streets of Copenhagen are convinced he has been made a scapegoat.
“The man has tested negative in all 14 tests and then they throw him out just because the subject is a hot potato at the moment,” said one man. “I can’t cope with that.” “It was terrible, simply a shock, even though you suspected that something was going on,” a woman added. “Well I will be disappointed if it turns out he was doping, which seems possible now,” said another man. “I thought he was the one rider who was clean. Now I don’t know. They are probably doped, all of them.”
The shock and dismay runs deep in this nation where cycling is hugely popular. Lots of people own a bike and for many, up until now at least, the Tour de France on television has been essential viewing.