If you’re one of those people who’s a cycling fan but who hasn’t managed to schedule your vacations to coincide with the big races on the calendar, don’t despair. There are other ways to see cycling greats on legendary roads… In the months before the big races.

Lance Armstrong’s old method of doing recon work on the Tour de France stage routes before the race has caught on – big time – and now it’s rare for a top contender to not do practice rides on the actual route. From today’s CyclingNews:

Yesterday, Discovery Channel’s Basso tested his legs on the 42 kilometre Verona time trial, to take place on the penultimate day of the Giro d’Italia, June 2. Today, Il Varesino will ride Zoncolan two times, then Thursday and Friday he will tackle the Tre Cime Di Lavaredo.

As announced yesterday, Cunego will ride the Zoncolan on Friday.

If I were in Italy right now (oh, would that I were in Italy right now) I’d be camped out on that Zoncolan. If you happen to be near the Zoncolan, would you see if you can nab a Basso souvenir for me? I’d be much obliged.