Ivan Basso continues 2011 Tour de France prep in France

Ivan Basso continues to prepare for what could be his final real run at the yellow jersey at the Tour de France.

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Basso at Tirreno-Adriatico. Photo: brad Kaminski

Despite a lackluster Criterium du Dauphine, where he finished a distant 26th and never showed any form in the key stages, the 2010 Giro d’Italia champ insists he’ll be ready for the Tour.

“It wasn’t a walk in the park. The race (Dauphine) was hard with high-profile opponents and I really suffered. But that was necessary to recover for the time I lost from my accident,” Basso said Monday, referring to his training crash on Mount Etna in mid-May. “I came away from the race without even worrying about the result. I know I can improve in condition before the Tour. From this point of view, I am satisfied with the work.”

Basso, joined by teammate Macjej Paterski and sport director Stefano Zanatta, opened up a three-day session to preview some of the key stages in the Alps. On Monday, he rode the final 40km of what they’ll see in stage 19, including the final climb up Alpe d’Huez. Tuesday, they’ll ride portions of the 17th stage from Gap to Pinerolo and Wednesday ride the Col d’Izoard and the Col du Galibier.

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