Basso says ‘desire to compete is strong’ as he readies for first race of the season
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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Basso says ‘desire to compete is strong’ as he readies for first race of the season

by VeloNation Press at 11:52 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Former Giro winner says training has been going well, will be part of Cannondale squad in GP Costa degli Etruschi

Ivan BassoDays before he will line out in his first race of the season on Sunday, Ivan Basso has spoken of his motivation heading into the Gran Premio Costa degli Etruschi and for the year ahead.

The Cannondale Pro Cycling rider is now 36 years of age and heading into his sixteenth season as a professional. The end of his career is approaching, but he says his motivation is still good and that his buildup has gone well.

“After a long and positive training period, my desire to compete is strong even if my most important goals have not yet been met,” he said. “The first race of the season is like the first day of school; you're ready to learn and excited to do your job. We're a solid group, and I'm determined to help my team achieve the best results possible.”

The team’s riders have already competed in Australia and Argentina, in the Santos Tour Down Under and Tour de San Luis respectively, but the race will mark its first foray in Europe this year.

A total of eight of its riders will compete in the 191 kilometre event, with Basso to be joined by Kristijan Koren, Alan Marangoni, Juraj Sagan and Cristiano Salerno, plus the younger riders Davide Villella, Michel Koch and Davide Formolo. The latter is setting out on his professional career and the race will mark his debut as a pro.

Directeur sportif Mario Scirea pointed out that the race has a very unpredictable parcours. He said that he anticipates a good performance by the riders.

“We have the right riders to manage this race and play up our chances in the finale. I expect a bold performance from the entire team. Excelling this early on could make a difference for the whole season, especially for our younger riders.”

Basso is building up for the Giro d’Italia, which will be one of his top goals of the season. He won the race in 2006 and 2010; since then, he was seventh in the 2011 Tour de France and fifth in the 2012 Giro.

He missed last year’s Giro due to a bad saddle sore and was also a non-starter in the Tour de France, but hoped to bounce back in the Vuelta a España with a top three overall finish. However while sitting seventh overall, he dropped out of the race on stage fourteen due to hypothermia.

Basso is hoping for a far more successful - and stress free - season in 2014.


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