Basso Signs Contract with Team Tinkoff-Saxo
Team Tinkoff-Saxo earlier today announced that Ivan Basso has signed a two-year contract with the Russian-registered WorldTour team. Basso thereby joins forces with Bjarne Riis, whom he rode for from 2004 to 2006 while being part of Team CSC.
Italy's Basso joins Tinkoff-Saxo as part of the team's mission to further strengthen the team for the coming seasons. According to a team spokesman, 36-year-old Basso will add both strength and experience to the team as "one of the greatest Grand Tour riders of a generation."
"With Alberto (Contador), Peter (Sagan), Rafal (Majka) and now Ivan (Basso) we will become the number 1 team. I have always liked Ivan. He was at lunch with me in 2007 as I would have liked him to be with my (Tinkoff Credit Systems) team already then. Now I’m happy to have him in our team because I know how serious and dedicated he is. I believe that he can be an important asset for conquering the Pink Jersey at the Giro d'Italia," team owner Oleg Tinkov explained.
Two-time Giro d'Italia champion Basso is set to become an important factor in the Tinkoff Bank - Saxo Bank team's 2015 roster because he brings with him many years of experience from professional cycling and a significant understanding of the sport.
Basso himself is excited about moving from Team Cannondale to Tinkoff-Saxo. "I’ve signed a two-year contract with Tinkoff-Saxo. I’m really impressed by Oleg Tinkov’s project. I’m proud to be a part of that," Basso said.
"I will start from scratch with the determination and desire of a new professional, but with the head and experience of a veteran," Basso explained, thereby referencing the years 2004-2006 where he rode for Bjarne Riis' Team CSC.
While continuously claiming to have never actually engaged in blood doping, Basso has admitted having previously contacted Dr. Eufimiano Fuentes' clinic intending to engage in blood doping while riding for Riis' CSC team.
Basso was involved in the Operación Puerto case.