Alessandro Ballan and Ivan Basso both bound for the Giro del Trentino
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Monday, April 09, 2012

Alessandro Ballan and Ivan Basso both bound for the Giro del Trentino

by Ben Atkins at 11:50 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Italians to use vital pre-Giro event in preparation for Corsa Rosa

alessandro ballanAlessandro Ballan (BMC Racing) and Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) will both be heading to next week’s Giro del Trentino, which will run between April 17th and 20th, the race organiser has announced. Although the two riders have entirely different characteristics, and goals for the race, what the organiser refers to as the “B-factor” is expected to have an impact.

With Ballan specialising in the Classics of the north, and has recently taken third place in both the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix, the former World champion will not be looking for overall success in the mountainous race. The 32-year-old from nearby Castelfranco Veneto hopes that the race will help him in preparation for targets further on.

“The Giro del Trentino is clearly beyond my reach,” he admitted. “But it’s going to be a key fixture in the setup of the Giro d’Italia, where I will go for some good results.”

While the overall title may be out of his reach however, Ballan does have a chance of taking the leader’s jersey for a day, since his BMC Racing Team - which will include the strength against the clock of Taylor Phinney and Marco Pinotti - will be one of the favourites for the opening 14.3km team time trial, between Riva del Garda and Arco.

Ivan Basso, conversely, will be one of the riders targeting the overall title; also as a stepping stone towards May’s Giro d’Italia. The Liquigas-Cannondale rider won the 2009 edition of the race, but his fifth place in 2010 provided him with part of the springboard that propelled him to his second Corsa Rosa victory that year.

The 34-year-old from Varese will be heading to the Trentino region a few days ahead of the race, where he will stay with Father Daniele Laghi, the race’s - and riders’ - ‘spiritual consultant’. He will take the opportunity to put in some tough mountain training, as well as reconnoitre the Giro d’Italia’s stage 16, between Limone sul Garda and Falzes.

The 36th edition of the Giro del Trentino - which will be broadcast live on Rai2 and Eurosport - promises to be the most spectacular yet, with new stage finishes at Sant’Orsola Terme and the horrifically steep Punta Veleno, as well as its grand finale on the legendary Passo Pordoi.

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