Word is that Ivan Basso of Liquigas Cannondale will focus on the Giro d’Italia for the 2012 season. He admitted that the singular focus on the Tour de France doesn’t make for a good season unless there’s a podium in Paris.
“When you focus on one goal, in my case the Tour, and you fail to reach it, the season is bad,” said Basso. Unlike his rival Alberto Contador, the Italian had already learned from painful experience that the Giro-Tour double is near impossible. Basso gave it a shot two years ago and Contador had the opium pipe this year but neither did well in France after killing themselves in Italy.
Basso’s best-laid Tour plans were destroyed when he crashed hard while training on Mount Etna. His earned 15 stitches on his face and still suffers from a neuromuscular issue. Neck trauma has led to tingling in his right arm and leg and a facial scar is closing his right eye down more when under stress.
However, Basso will now shoot for his third Giro d’Italia win after victory in 2006 and 2009. The question then becomes, what’s the grand tour program for talented teammate Vincenzo Nibali? The Shark gave the Giro his beat shot last season but Alberto Contador destroyed all challengers. Then he tried to defend his Vuelta title only to watch long-shots like Chris Froome (Sky) and Juan Jose Cobo (Geox) ride away from him.
With Basso zeroing in on the Giro, will Liquigas throw Nibali into the Tour de France just for a change of scenery?