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

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