Iván Velasco will be making his Tour de France debut this year at the not-so-tender age of 30. The late bloomer, who only turned pro aged 26, took a bad tumble in the Fleche Wallonne and looked to be out of action for months. But the climber made a surprisingly swift return to action at the Dauphiné and told el Diario Vasco yesterday that he's feeling healthy and good to go. "The injuries are behind me and I'm in good form at the moment", he said. "The hospital in Liège they took me to (after the crash in Fleche) told me I had crushed a vertebrae and broken my ankle. Thank God they were mistaken. Later diagnosis showed no bones were broken. I only had a cracked rib and an injured ankle." Iván has done two Giri and one Vuelta, but the Tour will be a very different experience all together and it's something he's looking forward to. "I've already done two Giri, but the climbs in Italy are not like the ones in France. I think the Italian mountains are harder, but there will be a lot more quality riders in France. That, I think, will be the big difference. I'm not scared of the French climbs. I've done the Plan de Corones, Zoncolan, Mortirolo and Gavia to name but a few, and in the Dauphiné this year I got the chance to ride the Alpe d'Huez while working for Samu and Sicard, as well as reconning the Madeleine, Glandon and Tourmalet. I'm still not sure what my role in the team will be, but I assume I will have to help Samu in his quest for a stage-win and a top GC placing." Iván had a pretty tough start to the year with a lot of hard and long races on his calendar, so his enforced injury lay-off might do him good and turn out to be a blessing in disguise.