Basso Triumphant

Basso won the overall in the Giro, a victory that he has had all sewn up for about two weeks now. Even with other competitors complaining of sickness and whatnot -- Savoldelli and Cunego with allergies, Danielson with sinusitis -- the nine-plus-minute victory was so dominant that it's hard not to see Basso in his own class. Simoni called Basso "extraterrestrial" as an insult to complain about the fact that Simoni's era is past, but the truth was that no other rider to hold Basso's wheel as he pedalled to three stage victories. Discovery Sport Directory Sean Yates admits that last year's champ Savoldelli, even without allergies, would not have been able to challenge Basso. Had Basso not gotten sick last year, it's quite likely that he would be completing his second consecutive dominant victory now instead of embarking on the "Basso Era" as Velonews describes it.

I feel comfortable staying on the Basso train for the Tour de France. Although he brought his best form to the Giro this year, he did the same last year and managed to stay fit enough for the Tour. He also will have a strong team around him -- Jens Voigt was an amazing teammate to have for the Giro and could be awesome in the Tour. Zabriskie and Julich will also probably be there, so Basso will the chance, if need be, to share the yellow jersey with some teammates before donning it for good.

Who knows how much to trust my Tour predications given that my predictions for the Giro predicted as many sick riders (Danielson/Savoldelli/Petacchi/McCartney) as they did victorious riders. This is reminder, of course, of how amazing it is that any of these riders manages to finish a three-week Grand Tour and makes me marvel that Armstrong kept himself and his team healthy for seven consecutive tours. Dan Smith of SportVelo told me today that Jens Voigt burned 8,000 calories over his normal metabolic rate during one of the Tour de France mountain stages. That's a lot of PowerBars. Other top competitors -- Leipheimer, Landis, Vinokourov, Hincapie, etc... -- are busy saving their strength for the rough July ahead.

related articles: Pro Tour 2006

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