The two Tinkoff-Saxo riders are the last of the big Giro d’Italia favourites to see the important stage, following on from Richie Porte (Team Sky), Rigoberto Uran (Etixx-Quickstep) and Fabio Aru (Astana).
According to reports in the local Italian media, Contador and Basso studied the route of the time trial by car, filming and noting particular details of the course. They then rode the course by bike to study the road surface, the lines to take in key corners and the climbs.
The time trial, from Treviso to Valdobbiadene is stage 14 of the Giro d’Italia and will play a major role in deciding the winner of this year’s maglia rosa. The time trial course includes a flat 30km first half on the road north of Treviso, then a rolling second half that includes two climbs and a valley section before a short descent to the finish in Valdobbiadene, the home of Italian prosecco wine.
Contador has decided to target the Giro d’Italia-Tour de France double this season and is the big favourite for the Giro d’Italia that begins in San Remo on Saturday May 9. Contador published a photo of himself and Basso on Twitter. He pointed out that the Giro d’Italia is now just a month away.
The 59.2km time trial course will require an 80-minute effort and offers experienced time trailists like Contador a chance to gain time on his rivals before the decisive mountain stages.
Contador is not expected race before the Giro d’Italia, preferring instead to train at altitude. He finished fifth overall at Tirreno-Adriatico and was fourth overall at the Volta a Catalunya, despite crashing and hurting his back. Basso joined Tinkoff-Saxo for 2015 to work as a key domestique and teammate for the Spaniard.