Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) has declared himself pleased with the state of his condition during the Tour de Romandie and is confident that he can continue to improve in the days leading up to the Giro d’Italia.
Basso had endured such a wretched beginning to the 2012 season that he had considered forgoing the Giro altogether, but after showing signs of life at the Giro del Trentino and at Romandie, he confirmed that he would return to the race for the first time since 2010.
“This Romandie didn’t given me any personal satisfaction in terms of results, but a lot in terms of morale and condition,” Basso told Gazzetta dello Sport of his 33rd place finish in Switzerland. “I have to say that I rode well over these five days in a race that isn’t the hardest in terms of altitude, but one which has always had a high intensity.”
After his disappointing start to 2012, Basso had a lengthy training camp at Mount Teide on Tenerife in late March and early April before re-emerging at the Giro del Trentino. He is said to have climbed over 66,000 metres during his 17 days on the island. “Yes, it’s true, and the block of work of Teide-Trentino-Romandie should bear fruit,” Basso said.
Basso lost over two minutes to Bradley Wiggins in the Tour of Romandie’s concluding time trial, and he acknowledged that he still needed to fine-tune his form ahead of the Giro, which gets underway in Herning on Saturday.
“If I can make the same jump in condition between Romandie and the Giro as I did between Trentino and Romandie, then I’ll be alright,” Basso said. “On Monday, I’ll ride for three hours behind a scooter. Tuesday, I’ll do a couple of hours tranquillo to recover and on Wednesday, I’ll do four and a half hours including the climb of Campo dei Fiori, before taking the plane to Denmark.”
Basso will also look to lose a kilogramme in weight in the coming days. “I want to get down to 69kg. Up to now, I haven’t had any big restrictions on what I eat so as not to lose weight too quickly,” he said.
Basso has named his former Liquigas teammate Roman Kreuziger (Astana) as perhaps his biggest rival for Giro victory, but he also expects Fränk Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) to be a strong performer in the coming weeks.
“I know Fränk well,” Basso said. “I know that even if he hasn’t shown much up to now, he will go well at the Giro because he’s a high-level rider. But for us at Liquigas, it won’t change anything, we’ll ride our own race.”