Giro d’Italia champ Ivan Basso will race this weekend ahead of a run at the Tour de France next month.
Basso will click into the pedals for the first time since winning the Giro during this weekend’s GP Nobili Rubinetterie in a pair of road races.
“There are just two weeks until the Tour de France and after a training period in the mountains, I felt the need to return to competition,” Basso said. “The GP Nobili Rubinetterie offers two beautiful and challenging courses that help in my objective of refining my condition before the Italian championships and the Tour de France.”
The Italian recently completed a high-altitude training camp at Passo San Pellegrino. Hot off winning the Giro in dramatic fashion, Basso says he’s confident ahead of his next major goals.
“The sensations were good during training,” Basso said. “Winning the pink jersey also gives me great confidence to take on the Tour with maximum physical and mental condition.”
Basso, 32, has said he will take aim for the Tour podium in what will be his first appearance in the French grand tour since he finished second in 2005.
Basso was among nine riders forced out ahead of the 2006 Tour after links to the Operación Puerto doping scandal were leaked to the media. Basso later admitted his role and served a two-year ban.
The last rider to win the Giro and Tour in the same year was Marco Pantani in 1998.