22 April 2011

Basso - not in the Giro?

I can't believe the 2010 winner is not racing in 2011
I casually opened up a browser to see who was riding the Giro d'Italia (May 7-29), and momentarily couldn't figure out why Liquigas-Cannondale was not listed as the first team, then I realized - no Basso!
Apparently Ivan Basso has decided to focus on the Tour de France this year (July 2-24) and will not be riding in the Giro d'Italia. Well that is disappointing! The Giro is one of my favorite races of the year (next to the Spring Classics), and personally I would much rather see Basso in the Giro than I would in Le Tour. Truth is I would much rather see Basso race in Italy than Alberto Contador (who is racing).
The other notable missing rider for this year's Giro is Cadel Evans (BMC). The 2000 champion Stefano Garzelli of Acqua & Sapone, will be donning the number 1 jersey in the absence of Basso for the 2011 Giro d'Italia. The rider roster of the 2011 Giro d'Italia may be viewed (down the right column) of this page on Steephill.TV
Now the question remains - where will Basso and Evans be in May? Could they travel to California for the Tour of California (May 15-22) (the roster has not yet been announced) to match up against the Schlecks, Levi, Chris Horner, or will they strictly be training for the Tour de France? Which brings up another point, some popular riders will be missing from the Tour of California this year, because they will be racing the Giro d'Italia.
Who will not be on the Tour of California roster / Who will be in Italy racing at the Giro (it is either one or the other), the sprinters: Allessandro Petacchi, Mark Cavendish, Mark Renshaw, Tyler Farrar, Robbie McEwen. Also Allessandro Ballan, Denis Menchov, Joaquin Rodriguez, Carlos Sastre, David Millar, Yaraslov Popovich,  Philip Deignan, and many others, see the full rider list here.  Of course the Italians Daniele Benatti, Vnicenzo Nibali, Giovanni Visconti, Michele Scarponi, Marco Pinotti, and Danilo Di Luca will all be in Italy. View the website and route of the 2011 Giro d'Italia.

I plan to be a fan at the Tour of California, so the fact that George Hincapie, Fabian Cancellara, Andreas Kloden, and Jens Voigt are not on the Giro roster is a good sign for fans at the Tour of California. I will miss seeing Mark Cavendish and Mark Renshaw at the ATOC, their absense will result in a shortage of Mark Cavendish pictures from 2011. Don't worry I will fill the void with more pictures of Jonathan Vaughters. 

Post post update 04/26/11: Now no Fillipo Pozzato in the Giro either, or Luca Paolini. Pozzato and Paolini dropped from Katusha Giro d’Italia squad

Post post update 04/27/11: Daniele Benatti is out of the 2011 Giro after a broken collar bone at the Tour of Romandie.