Italian Ivan Basso will move from the Cannondale team to Tinkoff-Saxo for 2015 on a two-year deal.
The 36-year-old 2006 and 2010 Giro d’Italia winner joins Oleg Tinkov’s team as the Russian bolsters his WorldTour squad further after signing Tour de France points classification victor Peter Sagan, also from Cannondale.
Basso will join the team to strengthen its performance in Grand Tours, possibly playing a road captain role for the likes of Alberto Contador and Rafal Majka.
Tinkov said: “With Alberto, Peter, Rafal and now Ivan we will become the number one team. I have always liked Ivan; he was at lunch with me in 2007 as I would have liked him to be with my team already then. Now I’m happy to have him in our team because I know how serious and dedicated he is. I believe that he can be an important asset for conquering the Pink Jersey at Giro.”
Basso commented: “I’ve signed a two-year contract with Tinkoff-Saxo. I’m really impressed by Oleg Tinkov’s project. It’s the best team in the world, and I’m proud to be a part of that.”
“I will start from scratch with the determination and desire of a new professional, but with the head and experience of a veteran.”
In addition to his two Giro titles, Basso was runner-up in the 2005 Tour de France and has won the Criterium International and Giro del Trentino. His last major win was the Japan Cup in 2012.
In 2007, Basso was served a back-dated two-year ban for his involvement with Dr Eufemiano Fuentes, the medic at the centre of the Spanish Operacion Puerto anti-doping investigations. Although Basso never admitted that he actually doped or underwent blood transfusions, his blood was found in Fuentes’ clinic in Madrid.
Basso signed for the Liquigas team on his return to racing in October 2008, and has stayed with the team through to its current incarnation as Cannondale.