Thursday, May 7, 2009
Giro Favorite Basso Preaches Patience
This year's Giro d'Italia will be won by a rider who stays calm and does not try to go flat out on every stage, favorite Ivan Basso said on Thursday.
The centenary edition of the world's second biggest stage race starts with a team time trial on the Lido in Venice on Saturday and finishes on May 31 in Rome.
"The rider who wants to win must race calmly, you can't get stressed every day," 2006 winner Basso told a news conference.
"I feel pressure but I am used to it. I am staying calm, I am in the condition I wanted."
The Liquigas rider, who returned to action in October, served a two-year ban after admitting his involvement in Spain's Operation Puerto doping scandal but denied he actually doped.
Basso is staying wary of seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong despite the American ruling himself out of contention after only just recovering from a broken collarbone.
"You don't know Lance. When he gets going, he's scary," the Italian said.
Armstrong tipped Basso and American teammate Levi Leipheimer.
"My favorites are Ivan and Leipheimer," he said.
"For the Italians, this is a special race, they are really motivated. Personally it is my first time here, I'm not at my best because of the collarbone injury."