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Basso’s Diary

Archived Posts from this Category

Everything has a beginning and an end; but I hope that for myself and for Team CSC, these events are merely a new beginning. An important period of my life is closed, on a sporting and on a human level. Important years, filled with progress and moments of triumph. Years that have been intense both from both a human and sporting perspective, where I have been able to measure myself, to grow and to improve, in a team that I have felt deeply attached to – my team. But, as often happens, the moment arrives to take a new direction in the game, to change, and to try new roads.

With Riis, I have had a special relationship, and even in parting, I feel that I am saying my farewell to a special person. Even as we parted, a signal could carry the import of many words; the rapport between us has not been lessened despite the trying times. But why then have we parted? We parted because this is the best for both of us. We have achieved greatness together, and perhaps it is the time to show the world that we can also achieve greatness individually, one without the other. I believe there is a benefit to this, of showing that we can achieve things seperately.

At this point, I can not do other than to thank Bjarne for the confidence that he put in me three years ago. Thanks to CSC, the world-leading company that has proved a perfect partner; without interfering in the present business. A special thanks to my team mates, who have dedicated themselves to my cause without a thought of saving anything for themselves with uncommon generosity and professionalism. Thanks also to all of the staff, without exception. I can only say on thing, that you give me the ideas of what I want to go for; I may change team, change environments, and return to the race, but wherever I go I hope to find as much professionalism, as much passion, and as much self-sacrifice in the attainment of your objectives as I have found from my colleagues at Team CSC. I wish all the best to Bjarne and Team CSC. Thanks from the depth of my heart, and win the big one.

Ivan Basso


Translated to English from IvanBasso.it. All typos and errors are mine, of course.

A few meaningful words… but “Am ok. I am good and everything goes well”. With this short sms, Ivan yesterday sent a short, but meaningful, message to all those that are following his adventures at the Giro d’Italia.

On the earlier stages, he commented: “The first stages of a great Tour are always difficult. One has to be careful not to crash and be very attentive. For this reason the riders try to maintain their positions in the front of the group, especially the riders for the classification. Today we rans some risks due to the slipperineriness at the end, but things proceeded well, and my team have run some risks, because of some sideslips in the end, but the team is always ready to protect me. Seven of the nine riders at the Giro will also look to try and be at the France, and this just goes to show we have a super squad”.

From saturday I have been in Tuscany at Bjarne Riis home, in order to train together with three of my companions (perhaps four, if Giovanni Lombardi joins us after Spain). These will be crucial days in order to determine whether I still have sufficient ressources for the athletic level to dispute a great ending to the season. If the answers of my physicist are positive, then for sure the road is clear to the Giro dell’Emilia, the Zuri Megetze, and the Giro di Lombardia. Regardless of the result, however, this has been my best season yet as a professional cyclist.

I’m preparing for the end of the season
August 18, 2005
After the intense post-Tour period, I decided to stop for a moment, though the legs continue to turn on their own, so as to witness the big win at the Tour of Denmark. In the meantime, in September, my team will participate in the Vuelta. The selected teammates for this Spanish appointment are Carlos Sastre, Christian Vandevelde, Jakob Piil, Nicki Sorensen, Manuel Calvente, Linus Gerdemann, Andrea Peron, Giovanni Lombardi and Vladimir Gusev.

(Translated by Jessica)

Victories & affection for Denmark
August 6, 2005
Three consecutive victories certainly don’t happen everyday. Here in Denmark I found an incredible affection, the people follow me with so much enthusiasm. I saw so many children with my name written on their faces. Every time I transfer I always find many people waiting for me, above all young people. This country has adopted me and the inhabitants have demonstrated this to me continuously.

The heart & the mind
August 12, 2005
Giro d’Italia? My heart desires it, because I am an old-style athlete, like Gianni Bugno and Miguel Indurain who raced until Lombardia, and I wish to repay the affection of the Italians at the Giro. However, I must reflect and try to understand if this cost me the Tour. Without the Giro I could have done something better, although this year anyway Lance has won. I don’t want to find myself again in the position of not being able to try and to be at a disadvantage with respect to my adversaries. And this is the grand question from here to December.

(Translated by Jessica)

In Denmark: Better than can be believed
August 5, 2005
A one-two that surely gave me a certain satisfaction. To win in Denmark, the home of Bjarne, was certainly a big joy. I must say that I found a warm reception, in contrast to the weather, always uncertain these days. It’s not the first time that I’ve seized two victories in 24 hours – that already happened to me in the Giro. What is there to say, at times you try for victories and they don’t come, other times they come quite easily.

(Translated by Jessica)

Ivan’s thoughts about Lance Armstrong
July 29, 2005
If they ask me what remains for me the biggest opponent of this Tour, it is the memory of an athlete the likes of whom is rarely born. Armstrong is a perfect machine, with an incredible motor and a great mind that works at 100%. His form is like Maradona, like Schumacher or Tiger Woods, one of the unerring legends of sport.

I always held out
July 30, 2005
If I must make a careful consideration, I would say that, with respect to the 10 favorites that had wagered everything on the Tour, I would have paid for the rest period after the Giro. I was strong again, I think, if I only lost a little to Ullrich and I beat all the other specialists. Only Armstrong gave a demonstration of unnatural strength. There were not moments of true difficulty. At Courchevel, when I was gapped off, I wasn’t really in crisis, but I was thinking about not going out for a turn. The worst moment of this year remains the crisis on the Stelvio at the Giro d’Italia: that day I didn’t know how I would arrive at the finish.

All of you
July 30, 2005
In this period after the Tour de France, I am analyzing all that happened in the three weeks of the race with much happiness. I believe that we want a little time to evaluate all the particulars that can be fundamental for the 2006 season. See you soon – Ivan

In Denmark for a bit
August 1, 2005
I’ve been put to work in a series of criteriums in Europe. In the morning, I take a coach for about 100k and in the evening I race. There are always many people along the streets to cheer us on, and I have signed hundreds of autographs. I was in Holland & Germany, and then shortly I will leave again to go race the Tour of Denmark.

(Translated by Jessica)

From the desire to do well
July 27, 2005
I have to say that at the Tour I moved myself along very well. I must confess, however, that I was very nervous the day of the final time trial in St. Etienne. I wanted to do a really great run, because I knew that with the separation on Rasmussen and Ullrich the result was secure. At the same time, I wanted to make a demonstration of my strength for the comparisons of the strong rivals at the time trial. I attacked too much and in the final kilometres I weakened from the strain, but in the more difficult first sector I had seven seconds over Armstrong and at the end I had halved the separation from last year. I paid for two things: The fact that I had not prepared myself for the course thoroughly, and the choice to use the spokeless aerodynamic wheel, that with the wind tormented me on the descents. Armstrong didn’t use one, and he never makes a mistake on these issues.

(Translated by Jessica)

I’m satisfied with my experience
July 26, 2005
To participate in the two races has enriched me profoundly. It was not a winning gamble, it’s one of those experiences that makes you stronger physically and mentally. At the Giro, I won two stages and in a normal situation I would have fought for the victory. Then I went to the Tour, I attacked in the Pyrenees and I deservedly got second overall. Bjarne and I are satisfied with what we’ve sown.

(Translated by Jessica)

I started strong
July 23, 2005
I’m satisfied with my time trial and with my Tour. Today I’d given the maximum already on the first climb, and then perhaps I paid for the effort. The strongest was confirmed again this time to be Lance. Tomorrow, however, there’s another stage again and the Tour finishes in Paris.

Super podium, what an honor
July 25, 2005
To be on the podium along with two Tour de France winners, even being ahead of one of them, was particularly emotional. Also with Rasmussen on the podium it would have been great. The emotion comes from the fact that I confirmed for myself with respect to last year, and that I have ahead of me many seasons to try for the big strike. After the ceremony there was a very beautiful party with all of my teammates, and I thanked them because they were truly wonderful.

(Translated by Jessica)

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