Ivan Basso has been pleading with fans to believe. Believe in him, and believe in clean cycling. So do you believe in his Giro victory?

It would be easier to believe the Italian if he had been more contrite back in 2007.

All we got was a half admission. There were few people who believed that his blood stored in Madrid was never actually used for doping.

But compared to his 2006 Giro win, his performance this year was more believable.

Four years ago he romped to a huge victory with ease; this year his face was a picture of pain throughout the final week as he dragged himself over the savage climbs of the Dolomites, eventually winning by less than two minutes.

So despite his past, to many it was a believable ride in what was a simply unbelievable race. The drama started on day one back in the Netherlands, and didn’t relent until Sunday’s final stage in Verona.

Crashes, terrible weather and, at times, crazy race routing made the 2010 Giro one of the best races of the past decade.

The Giro is regularly the most interesting Grand Tour as race organiser Angelo Zomegnan takes his event to places that the Tour de France wouldn’t go near, and no single team dominates for three weeks.

The Tour has some way to go if it’s going to rival this year’s Giro for excitement.

Simon Richardson is deputy editor of Cycling Weekly

  • Jacky86

    Usaually I have don’t believe in anyone who has made use of doping, but this guy shows all tha data about his training and also all the physiological parameters (included the one measured by UCI). He started the Giro with Hematocrit 43 and finished it with 38.7. Who has confidence with this data knows that they prooved he was clean (at least he didn’t used EPO, CERA, autoemotrasfusions) during the giro. Also McQuaid, UCI president, confirmed it. So he is much more than just believeble now!

  • coinneach

    Yes, and I believe in Santa Claus as well. When he first came back, he was ordinary, now he’s back to the level of the rest of his suspect team and then a bit more. I think he’s made pact, enjoying being a truimphant pro cyclist more than someone who was found out doping and never did anything clean

  • Tom Bindewald

    Ivan Basso is as clean as is possible to know, and to the extent that compels me to believe that his efforts were completely of his own doing, and those of teammates. Of course there may be methodologies of cheating that are yet un-detectable. Yet, in the final analysis one either remains incredulous based on opinion or one accepts the results as they stand given the facts as they are currently known.

    The facts of the race appear to indicate that Ivan’s effort is genuine given the performance of other top riders in the race. Take the results of Cadel Evens and Carlos Sastre in this year’s Giro d’Italia: Cadel suffered a ‘bad patch’ mid-race due to a cold that he contracted, and Carlos Sastre sustain back injuries due to three crashes he was involved in during the first week of the race. Yet, neither of them was too far off the winning pace of Ivan Basso in spite of their misfortune.

    Therefore, if these two gentlemen of equal quality to that of Ivan Basso are within in a reasonable proximity of the wining time, and performed well given their set-backs during the race then I am highly confident that Ivan Basso’s win is genuine. If not then who was not cheating?

    Believe in nothing, and you have nothing to believe in life. Remain skeptical of every winning performance in cycling then stop watching it and give-up. Otherwise, let the facts as known give you confidence that the results are honest. For now, based on the facts, I am confident of Ivan’s Giro victory was a genuine effort by a clean cyclist.

    Cheers – Tom from Sunny California

  • Louis

    I thought Liquigas looked highly suspect as a team. Too uniform in their abilities for me. I don’t trust most of the Italian and Spanish teams at the moment and I won’t for a good few years. Same managers, same doctors, same problem.

  • Tony Geesing

    I believe him, got a lot of time for the guy!

  • Paul G

    If he’s capable of riding like that, why dope in the first place? i personally think he’s clean now, but the element of doubt will always be there…

  • Giro fan

    Not sure what your point was… whehter Basso is believable or whehter you believe him..anyway.. not very effective writing..

  • blair

    If he was juiced, then so were Nibali and Scarponi, and I don’t believe all three could have been. He stayed in contention, attacked at an opportune moment, had two great people to help him stay away, and won when it mattered. The chasers marked each other instead of organizing, and handed Basso the Giro. Three weeks came down to one hill. That’s stage racing.

  • ines

    in the beginning you say bad things about him but in the end you say that you beloeve in him .. just decide ! I BELIVE IN HIM :)

  • Cátia Marques

    Yes, I believe in him and in his victory. He is simply one of the best cyclists in the world!

  • John Calliott

    I believe him. I followed his online SRM data from the Giro last year. He’s subject to the same weaknesses in the testing system as everyone else, but to hear him talk about how tough the two years were on his family – there’s no way he risks doing that to his kids again.