Ivan Basso explains Giro d’Italia no-show
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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Ivan Basso explains Giro d’Italia no-show

by Ben Atkins at 4:32 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
“I wouldn’t be able to ride it as it deserves,” says defending champion

ivan bassoA surprise omission from the start list for next month’s Giro d’Italia, released today, is the name of last year’s winner Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale). The 33-year-old is focusing his season on the Tour de France in July, but was expected to ride the Giro both as preparation for his Tour bid, and to support teammate Vincenzo Nibali’s bid for victory, as Nibali had supported his win last year.

"Giving up the Giro d’Italia is a great sacrifice for me," said Basso, "but unfortunately, with my physical condition at this moment, I wouldn’t be able to ride it as it deserves. My plans early in the season were to race the Giro before the Tour de France with the objective of assisting and supporting Vincenzo Nibali in his hunting of the pink jersey.”

Despite a good start to the season that saw Basso win the GP di Lugano, finish fourth in Tirreno-Adriatico and seventh in the Volta a Catalunya, the Italians recent form has been less impressive. He failed to finish the third stage of last month’s Vuelta al Pais Vasco, apparently suffering from health problems that he’s experienced during Tirreno, and finished an anonymous 50th in yesterday’s Flèche Wallonne.

“Lately I’ve hoped that the sensations in the saddle that could reassure me and give me confidence, but unfortunately they didn’t arrive. Together with the team, we took this painful decision. I wanted to be there and help Vincenzo; I will be in the front row of the tifosi. He's a guy with a huge talent and I'm sure he will be a protagonist. To him and the team I wish the biggest luck.

“To the people of the Tour of Italy I instead say ‘arrivederci’. The idea of winning a third pink jersey, before ending my career, is fixed in my mind."

For Liquigas-Cannondale Roberto Amadio, Basso’s withdrawal leaves his team short of a super-domestique for Nibali, but he concedes that it is the best option so as not to adversely affect Basso’s Tour bid.

"Ivan’s participation would allow us to offer support to Vincenzo without equal, but the conditions do not permit this and, so as not to take risks in preparation for the Tour, we believe that his withdrawal is the best decision. We honour the Giro in the best way, as always we did; Vincenzo and company will try to follow the example of Ivan and give us a new, immense satisfaction."

Despite the absence of Basso, the Liquigas-Cannondale team is still a formidable one and should be one of those to beat when the race starts in Torino on May 7th.

Liquigas-Cannondale for the Giro d’Italia:
Vincenzo Nibali, Valerio Agnoli, Eros Capecchi, Mauro Da Dalto, Tiziano Dall'Antonia, Fabio Sabatini, Cristiano Salerno, Sylvester Szmyd and Alessandro Vanotti


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