Italian adopts killer instinct in hunt for big win
Italy's Ivan Basso will decide with team Liquigas in the next month if he will race the Giro d'Italia or Tour de France, or both.
"When I saw the Tour route [presented] I said, 'very cool' to myself," Basso said to Cyclingnews. "The Tour is the Tour. I like it all: the pavé, climbs, descents. Like the Giro, when you love something, you love all parts of it."
Basso won the Giro d'Italia in 2006 and placed second behind Lance Armstrong at the 2005 Tour de France, his last time at the race. After serving two-year doping suspension, he returned this year to finish fifth at the Giro and fourth at the Vuelta a España.
"The Giro, Tour and Vuelta give me the strongest feelings. The Giro because I am Italian, I have already won it, and I want to win it again. The Tour because it has given me the biggest emotions, to finish behind Armstrong was like a victory in itself."
During his vacation in The Maldives, he prepared a list of modifications he believes he needs to make to win another Grand Tour. He meets Tuesday with trainer Aldo Sassi and team Liquigas to look over the list and define his training programme.
"It is useless to finish second or third, you have to make your actions count, to be a killer. Many times this year, I was attacking to understand my limits and where I could arrive. In my head, I now no longer need tests, I need wins," Basso said.
"It would be different if I had arrived 50th at the Giro and 13th at the Vuelta. But when you are talking of one minute, then you are there, you can win."
This 2010 Tour will start in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and ends in Paris, July 3 to 25. Its first mountains come in the Alps, Morzine and Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne. Four Pyrenean mountain stages will happen in the final week, with the Col du Tourmalet stage only four days before the finish. The final test will be a 51-kilometre time trial to Pauillac.
Time trialling is one of Basso's weaknesses and he is working to improve. He reviewed photos of himself time trialling this season and believes he found a solution, but will need to wait until next season to see the results.
Where he will start his season and whether or not he will race the Tour de France will be decided at a team camp in San Pellegrino from November 27 to December 12.
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