Questions over Basso's form, Simoni's future after Giro del Trentino
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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Questions over Basso's form, Simoni's future after Giro del Trentino

by Conal Andrews at 8:33 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Former Giro d’Italia winners Ivan Basso and Gilberto Simoni both lined out in the Giro del Trentino aiming for a strong performance, knowing that would show that their preparations for the Italian Tour were on track, and also that it would provide a big confidence boost.

In the end, though, both riders came away from the race being unsuccessful in that regard.

Basso lost time to the front runners on two important stages; conceding 35 seconds in the opening time trial and then dropping 42 seconds to Domenico Pozzovivo (Colnago - CSF Inox) on the final uphill stage. His best placing was third on stage two’s uphill finish. He ended the race fifth overall, 56 seconds behind Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana).

It was by no means a disastrous peformance but given his statements beforehand, he fell short on what he was trying to achieve.

"It will be an important test to verify my condition and to improve the quality of the pedalling on the bike,” he had stated prior to the start of the race. “I really want to race and achieve a high level performance. I'll be at the top of my condition at the beginning of the Giro but in Trentino I'll have the opportunity to test myself…I would like to repeat the good performance of 2009: that would be a great boost of hope.”

Basso won the race last year and so, at this point of the year, he seems to be behind on where he was twelve months ago.

He stated recently that he would also ride the Tour de Romandie, so that would give him a chance to hone his condition prior to the start of the Giro in Amsterdam on May 8th.

Simoni headed to the race wanting to clock up a good performance prior to his last-ever tilt at the Tour of Italy. The double Giro winner recently signed to Lampre – Farnese Vini for his final hurrah, planning to retire after what he hoped would be a strong showing in the Grand Tour.

Now, it appears he might not even take part. “For the time being, I’m not sure Giro d’Italia might be feasible for me,” he admitted, demoralised by his showing in the race.

He was only 29th overall, losing five minutes and 26 seconds. Crucially, he lost time on each stage bar Thursday’s flat one; his deficit in the time trail was one minute and 7 seconds, then he conceded one minute 28 and three minutes eight seconds to the winners on days two and four, respectively. It was demoralising for a rider who once prided himself on being one of the best climbers in the world.

Like Basso, Simoni could opt to use the Tour of Romandie to try to build his condition a little further. If he decides to race in Switzerland, he could bring up his form while also trying to boost his morale with a better showing. That race starts on Tuesday, though, and so he needs to make his mind up right away.


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