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Culture

This week's date: July 19

Rasmussen won King of the Mountain – even if it was undeserved


Rasmussen liked his shades, and it turns out he was pretty shady (Photo: Colourbox)

July 19, 2014
06:55

by Jessica Wells


On this date in 2006, Michael Rasmussen donned the Tour de France polka-dot jersey in Paris to see him officially crowned as that year's King of the Mountains.

Fans, not just in Denmark, warmed to a cyclist nicknamed the Chicken, who was well known for the meticulous detail he paid to the weight of his bike and for being pretty useless in time trials.

However, unknown to the viewers at home, the cyclist was barely a wheel's breadth ahead of controversy, and next year it caught up with him as he was pedalling his way to victory, holding the yellow jersey and polka-dot jersey with four stages remaining.

Rasmussen was dramatically fired from his team, Rabobank, and withdrawn from the tour for lying about his whereabouts and missing doping controls.

He received a two-year ban from the Danish team, and in 2013, he admitted to the use of several performance-enhancing drugs.

The Chicken very nearly cheated his way to the top of the cycling world. Looking back at his career, he will observe that the only time he finished ahead of Lance Armstrong was when he beat him to confessing to all his doping crimes.

 




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