That's right I said it and yes I am American who knows we will have several riders like Levi Leipheimer and Lance Armstrong but..............................I am an Italian/American well more like American/Italian ......my parents were both born in Sicily and my grandparents and didn't speak a lick of English so what ever that makes me.
First, its not gonna happen for all the Lance fans out there. He will be getting some solid training in and that's it. Levi?.....no way he can peak again for this and the tour so knock him off the podium. I know there are others but I don't care Ivan basso was a stud before his recent suspension and will be again this year. Why do you ask am I so confident. Well lets take a look at doctor Aldo Sassi ( He runs the Mapei Sports Lab and works with a ton of top guys) on Basso in the winter.
"Ivan Basso took the 'endurance' test at Mapei Sport Lab. The test consists on a 10-minute sub-maximal (410W) constant power protocol to estimate the time to exhaustion at the concerned power. The predicted time to exhaustion was 11 minutes at the beginning of the winter training, November 26, 2008, and he showed an increase up to 17 minutes. The 2008 best predicted time to exhaustion was 25 minutes.
His heart rate at the 10th minute of the constant power test dropped from 204 beats per minute to 188.
Roughly, Ivan is now at two-thirds of his 2008 best condition. The test showed that the fitness level is increasing as expected, despite the cold and snow forced Ivan to perform some training sessions on home trainer or on mountain bike." Not bad start and combine that with his win at Giro del Trentino he looks mighty ripe to me. Plus he is Italian and ya know we do it better. The rest of the field is lucky that the Recovery Doc will not be advising him in Italy this year or it would be game over, pack your... bags go home.