Twice former winner Ivan Basso will lead Cannondale at the Giro d’Italia, which begins in Naples on Saturday. The Italian team will be putting their efforts behind Slovak Peter Sagan at July’s Tour de France, leaving the 35 year-old Basso to have a crack at a home triple. Winner at the Giro in 2006 and 2010, Basso has had few impressive results this season, but his team isn’t worried.
“Basso’s results and preparation are to be expected. He’s lining up the Giro,” said the Italian team’s sports director Stefano Zanatta. “After two difficult years, Ivan has followed the (preparation) program without injuries or other problems. The course will pass judgement but few riders are as tenacious and determined as he is.”
Basso finished fifth in the Giro last year and also came seventh at the 2011 Tour de France. However, he faces stiff competition on the Italian roads this year as reigning Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins has also set his sights on Giro glory.