Now it’s the turn of the Tour of Trentino climbs. Ivan Basso returns to the group
Four stages starting with a team time trial tomorrow
Liquigas-Cannondale is set to embark on four gruelling days of intense racing at the Giro del Trentino which starts tomorrow Tuesday, 17th April. The race opens with a team time trial followed by three uphill finishes, including the new and feared Punta Veleno on Thursday and the Pordoi Pass on Friday. Ideal terrain for climbers and riders like Ivan Basso who need to clock up some mileage to improve their condition.
«It’s a very demanding race, » explains Stefano Zanatta, the team’s DS together with Paolo Slongo, «And a very useful proving ground for testing the guys’ fitness levels, particularly Ivan. We expect to see some encouraging signs from him not sensational results. He’s rejoining the group after a difficult period: first the falls, then the recovery and then the training camp in the mountains. The “Trentino” is just the next step in his preparation. »
«I see this race a bit like my second debut of the season. » said Basso. «Unfortunately, the incidents in the Paris-Nice and the Catalunya compromised my race programme and I really don’t have many days’ racing in my legs. I can’t expect to have perfect rhythm and I need to regain confidence with the dynamics of a real race. The “Trentino” has some very tough climbs that will be great for my preparation but you can’t invent anything on them to keep up with the best riders. I want to think of this race as a new step forward in my run-up to the Giro d’Italia: the Giro del Trentino and the Tour de Romandie are the races which will decide whether or not I’ll be competing for the pink jersey. »
The challenging climbs posed by the Giro del Trentino will also be good experience for the other climbers who have trained in the mountains like Basso: Eros Capecchi, Valerio Agnoli, Sylwester Szmyd and Cristiano Salerno. Liquigas-Cannondale’s fifth climber, the Colombian Josè Sarmiento, worked hard during the Catalunya, the Pais Vasco and Sunday’s Giro dell’Appennino so he’ll be ready to put up a fierce fight. The squad of climbers will be completed with two expert rouleurs, Paolo Longo Borghini and Alessandro Vanotti.