Basso ready for Tinkoff-Saxo debut at Ruta del Sol

Ivan Basso and Alberto Contador lead the Tinkoff-Saxo ride

Ivan Basso and Alberto Contador lead the Tinkoff-Saxo ride (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Ivan Basso will make his Tinkoff-Saxo debut this week at the Vuelta a Andalucía Ruta Ciclista Del Sol riding in support of Alberto Contador.

The 37-year-old, who's last race was the Gran Premio Bruno Beghelli on October 12, returns to the Ruta del Sol for just the second time in his career and 13 years after making his debut.

"Since the moment I joined Tinkoff-Saxo, my ambition has been to reach the start of the season with all forces available to provide my best for the team," Basso said. "I'm very happy to kick off the season by the side of our extraordinary captain, Alberto Contador. I think we are at a very good level right now, as a group, and personally I feel very good."

Basso will be at Contador's side during the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France and is looking to put into practise the training he and the team underwent over the off-season in anticipation of the grand tours.

"I am convinced we have given our best this winter. We’ve given thorough attention to every detail and I think these efforts will pay off. I feel ready to take up the challenge and help Albert to reach the goal we have in Ruta del Sol, which is basically to win," Basso said.

Tinkoff-Saxo's sports director Steven de Jong is expecting a hungry Basso to perform well during the six-stage five day race after an average season last year. 

"Ivan Basso will make his debut for Tinkoff-Saxo at Ruta del Sol," de Jong. "The goal for Ivan here in Andalucía is to be a valuable domestique for Alberto and contribute towards our overall target. Ivan didn't have a very good season in 2014, since he wasn't in top shape. However, he has been putting in a strong effort during the last few months and has been training very hard. I feel confident he's in a form to perform well."

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