Pleased with Vuelta form, Basso relishes thoughts of tougher stages ahead
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Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Pleased with Vuelta form, Basso relishes thoughts of tougher stages ahead

by VeloNation Press at 3:22 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
 
Former Giro winner motivated for time trial and GC battle

Ivan BassoOne of the strongest riders thus far in the Vuelta a España, and returning to a level he hasn’t shown in a Grand Tour since last year’s Giro, where he was fifth, Ivan Basso has said he has received a big morale increase in recent days. As a result, he is fired up and ready for the next, tougher part of the event.

The Italian is currently sitting seventh overall in the general classification, two minutes and twenty seconds away from the race leader Chris Horner. With many tough stages to come, he knows the GC could be reshaped again in the days ahead.

“I'm satisfied about what I did until today,” he said on the rest day. “Being always in the first positions on the hardest stages is an important confidence boost for me. It's something that helps me to look to the next stages with serenity.”

After earlier placing eighth on stage two to the Alto do Monte da Groba and fifth on Saturday’s race to the Peñas Blancas, the Cannondale rider notched up his best placing yet on Sunday. Basso was forth at the top of the Alto de Hazallanas, one minute and two seconds behind Horner and fourteen seconds behind Vincenzo Nibali (Astana).

He appears to be gaining in strength as the race progresses and hopes to continue that momentum as the race becomes more difficult.

“What is scheduled for the next days will be really hard. The first ten stages was hard too, of course, but next weekend, with the three days on the Pyrenees, will mark a division among the riders who are aiming high for the GC,” he said. “The positions will be well-defined. Until that day my personal ambitions won't change.”

He said that aside from the disappointment of the team finishing only seventeenth in the opening time trial, the rest of the race has gone well. “That was not the real value of the team,” he said, “and in the days afterwards we were able to show that.

“We did all that we wanted and planned. I feel a motivated and united group around me, ready to support and to work for the common cause.”

Basso checked out the time trial route today and likes what he saw. He’s not the world’s best rider against the clock, but sees the course as one which is suited to him. “This morning I had a recon on the route: nice, interesting and suited to my characteristics,” he said.

“Of course, only the time I'll be able to achieve at the finish will count, but I'm confident about doing a good race.”

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