Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ivan Basso Will Race Giro d'Italia

Ivan Basso, delaying his decision on whether or not to race the 2012 Giro d'Italia depending upon his Tour de Romandie performance this week, announced this evening that he will race the Corsa Rosa which he has previously won in 2006 and 2010. Ivan Basso is currently 33rd in the Tour of Romandie with one stage, a 16.5 km individual time trial, remaining. In the recent Giro del Trentino, April 17-20, he finished 22nd.

The announcement from Liquigas-Cannondale: 

"The first official step has been made on the road to the Giro d’Italia. This evening, after a meeting between Liquigas-Cannondale’s management and Ivan Basso, the decision about his presence was taken: the team and the captain will fight for the third pink jersey of their respective history.

Beside Basso, the experienced trio of directeurs sportifs Stefano Zanatta, Alberto Volpi and Mario Scirea will lead the team of five climbers and three rouleurs through the twenty-one stages: Valerio Agnoli, Eros Capecchi, Damiano Caruso, Cristiano Salerno and Sylwester Szmyd, plus Maciej Bodnar, Paolo Longo Borghini and Fabio Sabatini.

"I decided to dispel all the doubts one day early," affirms Basso. "Because the feelings during the Tour de Romandie were what I expected and. I made many efforts to prepare this event, working a supplementary work that only now gave me the confidence to fight for the pink jersey: I’m really happy to announce my presence".

"In terms of athleticism and character we’ve got the best possible line-up to manage a difficult race like the Giro." Zanatta explained. "All the guys are in terrific condition but above all they’re highly motivated to race as main contenders. Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed how they have a massive desire and are very proud to be part of this team. Today we understand that Ivan is in form: we will support him in the best way. The Giro has always been the main race in our season, and we’re aware of the pressures and expectations. We know they’ll leave the task of managing the race to us in many cases so the group’s unity, cohesion and camaraderie will be crucial factors. Riders like Szmyd, Capecchi, Agnoli, Bodnar, Longo Borghini and Sabatini guarantee us experience on the climbs as well as the flat; Salerno has proved he is reliable on the mountain stages, as has Caruso: he’ll be invaluable support for the captain and have the chance to grow and improve the quality of his riding. We’re backing Sabatini for the sprints: unfortunately Viviani won’t be racing and this is a great loss."

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