Ivan Basso (Cannondale) is planning to return to competitive action at the Italian road race championships on June 22 after missing the Giro d’Italia due to a perineal cyst. The 35-year-old will not ride the subsequent Tour de France but will instead build steadily towards the Vuelta a España.
This year’s Italian championships take place in Val di Non and, like in 1994, the elite’s men road race also doubles as the Trofeo Melinda. Basso finished 4th in the Trofeo Melinda in 2009 but said that he harbours no personal ambitions on the course this year.
“I want to be at the start of the Italian championships,” Basso told Gazzetta dello Sport. “Naturally, I won’t be in any way competitive for the win, but we have some riders on the team who can aim at the title. I’m thinking of Moreno Moser and, above all, Damiano Caruso. I think my presence could be important.”
Basso missed the national championships in 2011 when an Italian federation ruling barred riders with past doping suspensions from competing. The veteran, who served suspension for his links to blood doping doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, was a vocal critic of the regulation, which was withdrawn last season.
Basso only returned to training ten days ago after spending over a month off the bike in the wake of his late withdrawal from the Giro, just two days before the start in Naples. He has been forced to forgo the Tour de France and will instead ride the Tour of Austria, Tour of Poland and Vuelta a Burgos as preparation for the Vuelta a España.
“I haven’t raced since the Tour de Romandie and went practically a month without touching the bike,” Basso said. “Now I’ve been back in action for ten days or so, and I’m gradually raising the workload. Next week, I’ll do a test with directeurs sportifs Paolo Slongo and Stefano Zanatta on the Sacromonte [a climb near Varese].”