Cancellara targets Armstrong and Basso at Giro

Fabian Cancellara after he won his Olympic medal

Fabian Cancellara after he won his Olympic medal (Image credit: Tour of Japan)

Fabian Cancellara took note of the Giro d'Italia time trials and added them to his list of 2009 objectives that includes the Spring Classics. The Olympic Time Trial Champion of Team Saxo Bank aims to show his strength in the Italian stage race's final stage through Rome.

"I won the time trial in London at the start of the 2007 Tour de France in front of an enormous crowd, giving me an incredible emotion. It would be great to win the Giro's final time trial in Rome, in a scenario that I can already imagine will be spectacular and unique. To win in Rome battling Lance Armstrong and Ivan Basso would not be bad," Cancellara said to Tuttosport.

The Giro d'Italia, May 9 to 31, starts in Venice and ends in Rome. The final day is a time trial of 15.3 kilometres that starts and ends next to the Imperial Fora and passes some of Rome's famed sites – Porta Pia, Piazza del Popolo, Piazza Venezia and the Coliseum.

The Swiss rider is a double World Champion in the time trial and winner of the 2006 Paris-Roubaix. Last year, he started off his season with a win in the Tour of California prologue time trial. He continued strong in March with wins in Eroica, the Tirreno-Adriatico overall and Milano-Sanremo.

"I am preparing hard this winter because I want to start strong, with grit, for the Classics. Not only Sanremo, also Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. These are my challenges prior to the big stage races."

Cancellara left Switzerland for the warmer climates of Spain prior to Christmas. He will make again this year at the Tour of California, where he will go up against Armstrong and Basso.

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