Ivan Basso relishing new domestique role at Tinkoff Saxo

At the age of 37, Ivan Basso accepts he's not a Grand Tour contender any more, but will work hard in support of Alberto Contador in 2015

Ivan Basso in action during Stage 2 of the 2013 Giro del Trentino

(Image credit: Watson)

Having turned 37 this week, Ivan Basso has become more realistic with his goals for the 2015 season.

The two-time Giro d’Italia winner moved from Cannondale to Tinkoff Saxo in the offseason, with the change of team likely to see him play the role of domestique to Alberto Contador.

Basso admitted to La Gazzetta dello Sport that he no longer has the ability to win a three-week race, but is convinced he can be a great assistant to Alberto Contador.

“Contador is an extraordinarily talented athlete,” Basso said. “He has [strong] legs, heart and especially head. I've never met a cyclist with his ambition. Still hungry for victory and is very demanding with himself and with peers. To ride with him is a great honor.”

The Italian hasn’t let his age get in the way of his ambitions, believing he still has a couple of seasons at the highest level left in him.

Basso spent several months with Contador at the Discovery team in 2007, the year the Spaniard won his first Tour de France.

Contador announced his intentions to ride the Giro-Tour double in 2015, and Basso insists his former teammate at Cannondale, Vincenzo Nibali, also has the ability to attack both Tours.

“I knew someday Nibali could win the Tour, and he deserves it,” Basso continued. “When riding with me he was strong, but he continues to improve. He could also make the double.”

MTN-Qhubeka goes all Newcastle United with new 2015 kit

Milan-San Remo to restore classic Via Roma finish

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1