Cannondale have confirmed that Ivan Basso will lead the team in the Giro d'Italia despite his poor form this season.
The 35-year-old Italian will be bidding for a third victory in his home race after winning in 2006 and 2010.
Basso, who finished fifth last year and also came seventh at the 2011 Tour de France, has been handed the chance to lead the team in the Giro with the Italian outfit then putting their efforts behind Slovak Peter Sagan at July's Tour de France.
"Basso's results and preparation are to be expected. He's lining up the Giro," said the Italian team's sports director Stefano Zanatta.
"After two difficult years, Ivan has followed the (preparation) programme without injuries or other problems.
"The course will pass judgement but few riders are as tenacious and determined as he is."
Basso was a 50/1 chance to win the Giro d'Italia with Sky Bet on Monday afternoon, with Team Sky's Sir Bradley Wiggins quoted as the even-money favourite for the race which starts in Naples on Saturday.