Returning Italian pro road racer Ivan Basso is setting his sights on winning the 2009 Giro d’Italia and Tour of Spain, he said in an interview Thursday.
“I would like to and I dream of winning both,” the Italian said in Thursday’s edition of the Gazzetta dello Sport. “Not until the Tirreno-Adriatico, after the Tours of Argentina and California, will I be able to say if my ambition is possible.”
Basso returned from a 15-month ban in October, finishing third at the Japan Cup.
Basso won the 2006 Giro while racing for Team CSC. He was among the cyclists banned from racing the 2006 Tour de France when his name was linked with Eufemiano Fuentes — the Spanish doctor at the center of Operation Puerto, cycling’s biggest doping investigation. German Jan Ullrich was also involved, and has since retired.
Italian authorities suspended Basso in 2006 after he confirmed his blood was among the frozen blood found in Spain as part of the Operation Puerto investigation into doping. He joined John Bruyneel’s Discovery Channel team in 2007, but after his name came up again during Operation Puerto proceedings, before the 2007 Giro, Basso left the team after a partial confession of his involvement with Fuentes.
Basso has maintained though he gave his blood to Fuentes, he never used it. The 2008 Japan Cup was his first race since serving his suspension.