Ivan Basso won't ride this year's Tour de France, according to French sports newspaper L'Équipe. Liquigas' late-season acquisition has indicated that he wishes to ride the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España instead of France's national tour during his first full season in three years.
Many fans had hoped that the 31-year-old from Cassano Magnago, who was Giro champion in 2006, would ride the Tour against Lance Armstrong. The two fought an intriguing battle during the 2004 Tour where the American prevailed overall and the Italian finished second in Paris.
Armstrong's first participation in the Giro d'Italia will set the scene for the duo to be reunited in competition, albeit in different colours. On paper Basso should enter that event with a better chance of overall success given his third place in last October's Japan Cup against the likes of Damiano Cunego and Giovanni Visconti.