Ivan Basso to make his return in the Volta a Catalunya
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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ivan Basso to make his return in the Volta a Catalunya

by Ben Atkins at 8:32 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Volta a Catalunya, Injury
 
Liquigas-Cannondale captain back in the peloton after crash injuries forced him out of Paris-Nice

Ivan BassoIvan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) will make his return to the peloton in the Volta a Catalunya, which start on Monday, as he recovers from the rib injuries that he suffered in Paris-Nice, earlier in the month. The 34-year-old from Varese crashed in the second stage of the Race to the Sun, as crosswinds shattered the peloton between Mantes and Orléans, but struggled through the next few stages; he eventually climbed off his bike midway through the hilly sixth stage, as the pain in his ribs became too much.

Although he suffered no fractures, Basso did develop a serious haemothorax; despite not being 100% recovered, and having been off the bike for so long, he will start Monday’s race as preparation for future goals.

“Together with the team, we have only confirmed my presence here in Catalunya at the last minute,” Basso explained. “My current level of condition won’t allow me to be competitive for general classification but, for preparation, it is important to get some race kilometres.

“The first objective is not to suffer discomfort in my ribs, then to build form,” he added. “This is the time to grit my teeth and think about improving ahead of the Giro d’Italia.”

As well as Basso, the majority of the rest of the Liquigas-Cannondale selection are short of recent racing. Of the eight-man roster, only Paolo Longo Borghini rode yesterday’s Milano-Sanremo, and so expectations for Catalunya are low.

“For many athletes, the race will mark the return to competition, so we can’t expect too much,” directeur sportif Alberto Volpi explained. “It will be a preparation race in a view of upcoming important dates, and so the number one objective is to improve. [Sylwester] Szmyd, Longo Borghini and [Maciej] Paterski are more raced; if there is an opportunity, they will have the freedom to take it.”

Liquigas-Cannondale team for the Volta a Catalunya
Ivan Basso, Timmy Duggan, Paolo Longo Borghini, Maciej Paterski, Fabio Sabatini, Cristiano Salerno, Sylwester Szmyd and Alessandro Vanotti.

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