Date of birth: 26/11/1977
From: Cassano Magnago, Italy
Previous teams: Riso Scotti (1999): Amica Chips (2000); Fassa Bortolo (2001-2003); CSC (2004-2006); Discovery Channel (2007)
Ivan Basso career profile
Ivan Basso began a new chapter in his career with the Liquigas team in 2009 after his two-year ban for doping for his involvement in the Operacion Puerto doping scandal.
Basso comes from Cassano Magnago between Varese and Milan and started cycling when he was nine. He was always considered one of the stars of Italian cycling after finishing second in 1995 junior world championships and winning the under 23 world title in Valkenberg in 1998. He turned professional in 1999 with the Riso Scotti team in time to ride the Giro d’Italia and then in 2000 won two stages at the Regio Tour in Germany riding for the Amica Chips team.
He joined the Fassa Bortolo team in 2001 and began to focus on major stage races in 2002 after finishing 11th in the Tour de France and winning the best young rider’s white jersey. Basso finished seventh in 2003, 10-12 behind Lance Armstrong.
Basso joined CSC in 2004 and became very close to Bjarne Riis who convinced him he could take on Armstrong and win the Tour de France. Riis helped Basso dramatically improve his time trialing and leadership skills and Basso won the mountain stage to La Mongie ahead of Armstrong and finished third overall.
In 2006 Basso won the Giro d’Italia after a mysterious stomach problem forced him to quit while in the lead in 2005. Basso dominated his rivals in the time trials and won three mountain stages. He finished 9-18 ahead of Spain’s Jose Enrique Gutierrez and 11-59 ahead of Gilberto Simoni. However the Operacion Puerto scandal exploded during the race and Basso was implicated the day after the race following leaks by Spanish media.
Basso travelled to Strasbourg for the start of the 2006 Tour de France but was not allowed to start like Jan Ullrich and other riders who were implicated in Operacion Puerto. Basso claimed he was innocent but was forced to leave the CSC team in October. He quickly joined the Discovery Channel team and raced in the first part of the 2007 season but was officially placed under investigation in April and was quickly released by the US team.
In a hearing on May 2, Basso admitted his involvement in Operacion Puerto but claimed he never used the bags of blood stored in Madrid. He was banned for two years on June 15 2006 but was allowed to return on October 25 2008 after judges ruled that his time away from racing during the investigation would be considered part of the ban.
In interviews Basso claims he now regrets what he did and insists he will race clean in the future. He is working with highly respected physiologist Aldo Sassi of the Mapei training centre and has agreed to publish his test results on the internet.
Basso made his comeback with Liquigas in the Japan Cup race on October 26, 2008, finishing third behind Damiano Cunego and Giovanni Visconti.
Despite an agreement between ProTour teams not to sign riders banned for doping for two years, Liquigas signed Basso during the summer of 2008 and has built its team around him.
In 2010, Basso made his comeback to the Giro d’Italia podium by winning the race overall, saying that it was a result for clean cycling.
Ivan Basso results
Giro d’Italia; stage 15
Giro d’Italia; overall
Giro del Trentino; overall
Giro d’Italia; overall
Giro d’Italia; stage eight
Giro d’Italia; stage 16
Giro d’Italia; stage 20
Criterium International; overall
Circuit de la Sarthe:; stage two
Giro d’Italia; stage 17
Giro d’Italia; stage 18
Tour of Denmark; overall
Tour of Denmark; stage one
Tour of Denmark; stage two
Tour of Denmark; stage three
Tour of Denmark; stage five
Trofeo Citta di Borgomanero
Tour de France; stage 12
Tour of the Mediterranean; stage
Bicicletta Basca; stage
Tour of Austria; stage
Regio Tour; stage
Regio Tour; stage
Ivan Basso photos
Click on the thumbnails of Ivan Basso below to open a larger image in a new window.
Cycling Weekly’s Rider Profiles: Index