Ivan Basso began racing at an early age. He quickly showed his talent by winning major races in every category during his youth, culminating with the Under-23 World Championship in Valkenburg, 1998. He successfully made the jump from Amateur to Professional in 1999, taking his first Pro victory the following year. In 2001, he moved to Fassa Bortolo where he had great success in his first year, following this up by winning the white jersey for best young rider in the Tour de France 2002.

At the end of 2003 he left Fassa Bortolo for Team CSC, where he rode strongly in his first season, highlights being his first Tour de France stage victory, and third overall in the Tour. He is currently on contract at Team CSC until the end of 2008.