By Gregor Brown
Giro d'Italia contenders Lance Armstrong and Ivan Basso spent New Years Eve away from home. USA's Armstrong is in Hawaii riding some of the island's climbs while Italy's Basso is visiting his friend and ex-professional Michele Bartoli in Pisa.
"Our wives are friends and both of us have kids around the same age. We will ride and the children can play together," Basso told Cyclingnews.
The winner of the 2006 Giro d'Italia will return home to Varese on New Years Day. He targets a second victory in his home stage race, May 9-31. It will be his first year back after serving a suspension for links to the Operación Puerto doping investigation.
Team Astana's Armstrong, seven time winner of the Tour de France, is preparing for his comeback to the sport and the Giro d'Italia after a three-year absence. He traveled to the Hawaiian island of Hawai'i with his family on December 28. Besides rides up the climbs of island, like Kaloko, he is playing golf.
Armstrong's season starts with the Tour Down Under, January 20 to 25, in Australia and Basso's will start in Argentina at the Tour de San Luis, January 19 to 25.
For more on Basso, read The Ivan Basso Diary.