The season has just officially ended, but already team Liquigas is planning its approach to next year’s Grand Tours with its star riders Vincenzo Nibali and Ivan Basso. Nibali, who won the Vuelta a España this year, may lead the team at the Giro d’Italia and let Giro winner Basso focus solely on the Tour de France.
“It’s a good hypothesis,” he told newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport. “I would like to repeat what I’ve done, ride at a high level in two Grand Tours.”
Nibali successfully rode two Grand Tours this year. He raced in support of Ivan Basso at the Giro d’Italia, but he himself won a stage, spent three days in the leader’s pink jersey and finished third overall. He then his had a chance to lead team Liquigas at the Vuelta a España and won the race.
Ivan Basso led at the Tour de France, but suffered from a fever and finished nearly an hour down in 32nd place.
The Giro d’Italia next year passes through Nibali’s home region, the island of Sicily, for the first time since 2008 when Garmin won the team time trial. It’s extra even extra motivation for Nibali to race the Giro d’Italia.
“Obviously, I want to be there,” said Nibali. “Also, it is possible that Ivan will truly aim for the Tour de France.”
By next week, team Liquigas will have a clearer idea of their plans. On Tuesday, Tour de France organiser ASO presents its 2011 route and on Saturday, Giro d’Italia organiser RCS Sport will present its.
“I have to talk about this with him [Basso] and the team, as we did this year.”
Cycling Weekly asked about this hypothesis to Basso, who agreed with Nibali and said that they will discuss it soon. He too is convinced, though, to be able to race as leader for two Grand Tours in one year.