Basso: next stop Le Tour

After months of uncertainty, CSC have today announced that Ivan Basso is to leave the team. The statement, sent out this morning by the team said:

Team CSC and Ivan Basso have decided to terminate their contract by mutual agreement.

"After all that has happened, especially this summer, Team CSC and Ivan Basso have agreed to part ways. It has been a very difficult decision, but both parties agree it is time to move on. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Ivan for his time with the team and for the great results he and the team have achieved together. At the same time, we wish him all the best for the future,? says Bjarne Riis.

Basso's close relationship with team boss Bjarne Riis (Riis trained and managed Basso) took a turn for the worse when the Italian's name was linked to the Spanish Operacion Puerto in the days before this year's Tour de France.

Giro d'Italia winner Basso was pulled out of the Tour team as per the ProTour code of ethics, and the team immediately distanced themselves from the rider. Basso has recently been cleared by the Itailan Olympic Commission (despite the Union Cycliste International warning all governing bodies not to close investigations as more evidence is likely to come out) in time for last Saturday's (Oct 14) Tour of Lombardy, but Riis didn't let Basso start.

Early this week, Basso, who wages are around ?1.6m a year, announced he'd like to stay with CSC following widespread rumours that he was being courted by Discovery Channel. The statement today will fuel the transfer speculation, although the UCI are believed to be putting pressure on teams not to sign the Italian.

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Editor of Cycling Weekly magazine, Simon has been working at the title since 2001. He fell in love with cycling when channel surfing in 1989 and happening across the greatest ever edition of the Tour de France. He's been a Greg LeMond fan ever since. He started racing in 1995 when moving to university in North Wales gave him more time to train and some amazing roads to train on. He raced domestically for several years, riding everything from Surrey leagues to time trials, track and even a few Premier Calendars. In 2000 he spent one season racing in Belgium with the Kingsnorth International Wheelers. 


Since working for Cycling Weekly he has written product reviews, fitness features, pro interviews, race coverage and news. He has covered the Tour de France more times than he can remember along with two Olympic Games and many other international and UK domestic races. He can still be seen at his club's evening races through the summer but he still hasn't completed the CW5000 challenge!


SIMON IS CURRENTLY RIDING

Road bike: Pinarello K8S with Shimano Dura Ace

TT bike: Specialized Venge road bike with FFWD wheels and Easton Attack TT bars

Gravel bike: N/A

Training bike: Rourke custom hand made with Reynolds 853 steel