Results tagged “Ivan Basso” from spare cycles

'Attempted' dopers suck

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Dopers SuckIf there's ever anything I've heard that makes me want to stock up on extra pairs of Dopers Suck socks its Basso's new defense, which is about the craziest f#$ing thing I've ever heard. Basso is now claiming that he is only guilty of 'attempted' doping as he never used the banked blood (the Clinton inhale defense). His "crisis of conscience" was more of an indigestion of conscience, barely letting out a suppressed burp. The defense is made all the more ridiculous by the fact that the Operacion Puerto evidence that Basso was presented with should quickly unravel it (quoting from cyclingnews):

2) Two telephone recordings from May 13 and 14 made by DS Ignacio Labarta to Fuentes. "Birillo had arrived with Simoni at sixteen seconds," was said on May 13 according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. This referred to Giro d'Italia stage seven, won by Rik Verbrugghe, where Basso finished 16 seconds back with Gilberto Simoni, Davide Rebellin and Serguei Gonchar. The next day another recording, "A certain Ivan Basso won." Basso was now first overall with José Enrique Gutierrez (Phonak) second. "Friend, you have... a first and a second."

3) A fax, outlined in page 15 of the dossier, that was sent from Fuentes to Nelson Giraldo Flores (in Colombia) in the days leading up to the "festival Mayo" (or Giro d'Italia). Fuentes wrote, "As per our agreement, I am sending a list of collaborators and participants in the festival that takes place in May;" going on to ask Colombian Flores for "help and collaboration." It listed riders Basso, Marco Serrano, Michele Scarponi, Gutierrez and Jan Ullrich (spelled with one "l" in the fax) without the use of code names.

4) An agenda with a schedule of blood extractions and transfusions since 2004. In the agenda the pseudonyms 'Birillo' and '2' are use

Guilty

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San Franscisco Grand Prix-84 Update: Discovery Channel's Press Release

It seems perverse for it to feel so refreshing, but at last Basso has come clean and admitted guilt. If only other riders could do the same so cycling can move forward as a sport.

According to cyclingnews, it appears that there is some debate as to whether or not Basso is going to be offered a retroactive two-year suspension, though the UCI is saying no way.

Basso leaves Discovery

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Basso inspects the damageFrom VeloNews:

Beleaguered Italian rider Ivan Basso has removed himself from his two-year contract with the Discovery Channel team at his own request just days ahead of a hearing before the Italian Olympic committee for alleged links to the Operación Puerto doping investigation.

..."Ivan's request was unexpected and he was very emotional, but adamant, about his decision to be released," Bruyneel said in a team statement. "We spoke with him at length before granting his request. Although he was only on our team for a short time, he was a great leader and a very well respected and selfless teammate. I, along with the entire team, wish him the best."

Previously: Basso suspended, Levi's patience pays off?

Basso suspended, Levi's patience pays off?

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IMG_1084Things aren't looking good for Basso's season as Discovery Channel has suspended him due to the Italian investigation into Fuentes blood bags. Basso may have to finally submit a DNA sample, which could finally resolve this once and for all.

Levi may be inwardly celebrating based on statements he made during his Lombardi Sports talk. Going back to my notes:

...There were of course plenty of questions and rephrased questions as to Basso vs. his role on the team. Levi admitted he was surprised that Discovery signed Basso, but he hasn't given up his hopes for the Tour de France. Noting that many teams run with two leaders, Levi seems to be taking a two-phased wait-and-see approach: wait and see if Basso/Discovery survive the current uproar, and wait and see who is the strongest come Tour time.

There is that other doping news involving Floyd Landis. My only response to that is to wonder repeatedly, "Why do they keep giving Landis more ammunition? Can't they gather evidence without creating reasonable doubt in the process?" I don't want to believe in a conspiracy, but its almost as if the authorities want to help fuel the flames.

Italian Frown

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Basso and Bettini

above: Ivan Basso and Paolo Bettini, frowning

Tour of California Stage 6: Haedo x 4

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JJ Haedo beats out Paolo Bettini and Greg Henderson

above: JJ Haedo beat Paolo Bettini and Greg Henderson to the line. [Ed: As you can see, I haven't quite mastered the art of the aesthetic finish line shot, but I can't complain: I got to chose my spot for shooting it.]

Photo Gallery

JJ Haedo was the first rider to get three Tour of California stage wins. Now he is the first rider to achieve four. He easily beat out Paolo Bettini and Greg Henderson for the win. It was a sprint full of flub-ups: Gerolsteiner's Robert Förster got into a lot of push and shove with Freddie Rodriguez and ended up pulling his left foot out of the pedal. T-Mobile's Greg Henderson was supposed to be leading out Ciolek, but Ciolek lost his wheel.

Although the finish was your typical sprint, the true battle on the day was Discovery vs. CSC. CSC put it to Discovery hard, though the first casualty was inflicted by one of their own. CSC attacked three miles into the course and Discovery's Tony Cruz went to cover it. Cruz's wheel hit Basso's, taking Cruz and George Hincapie down. Hincapie and Cruz weren't able to rejoin until the approach to the final climb of Balcom Canyon.

With Discovery down two riders (in addition to Davis, who they lost as a result of Stage 3), CSC continued with the assault. Leipheimer was able to personally cover attacks by Jens Voigt, but Stuart O'Grady was able to make it into the breakaway and present a threat to Leipheimer's overall lead.

O'Grady's breakaway also contained overall threat Michael Rogers. Despite the long, wide, and relatively flat road to the finish, that breakaway was able to stay away until the finishing circuit in Santa Clarita. It took the full efforts of Discovery's Basso, Vandborg, and Danielson to finally reel it in, along with some help from HealthNet. Vandborg and Basso both were shot off the back of the peloton after their final efforts.

But the most ridiculous effort award should go to Hincapie: he chased back to the peloton for two hours, with a broken arm. Hincapie rode the entire stage, with its four KOMs, minus a small three mile start segment, injured.

Although Levi built his lead on the strength of his solo performances in the prologue and time trial, it was the efforts of the Discovery team that protected Levi's small lead throughout. Levi clearly owes his teammates, and most significantly, he owes Basso.

It's been an amazing sight throughout the Tour to see the likes of Ivan Basso drilling it at the front of the peloton to bring back a breakaway. How would you like your lead protected by a Tour de France favorite? Prior to the Tour of California, Levi was giving controversial quotes about being disappointed by Basso's signing. Now he's giving quotes like, ""When someone sacrifices as much as he has for me, that goes a long ways to solidifying a friendship, a bond." A Tour of California win isn't a fair trade for a Tour of California win, but Basso has earned some favor and friendship.

IMG_1831 Levi, post-race

above left: Brian Vandborg drive the peloton to bring back the breakaway on the final circuits of Santa Clarita. above right: Levi wipes off the sweat after a hard day on the bike. below: Ivan Basso is back among the team cars after giving everything he had to bring back the breakaway

Basso, exhausted

below: John from Mavic offers some neutral support to a young rider

Mavic Neutral Support

kwc Stage 6 Photo Gallery

Levi @ Lombardi Sports

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IMG_1010_edited-1

NOTE: lots of video in the extended entry

update: forgot to thank erik the first time around for the heads up about the event. Thanks!

d and I went up to SF to watch Levi speak at Lombardi Sports. It was primarily an event held for Colorado Altitude Training's Shaun Wallace to promote his products, with Levi chiming in on how he uses altitude tents in his training and how they've improved his metabolism and recovery.

But I was there primarily to hear from Levi, so I was happy when Q&A came around and talk of altitude training died down a bit. There were of course plenty of questions and rephrased questions as to Basso vs. his role on the team. Levi admitted he was surprised that Discovery signed Basso, but he hasn't given up his hopes for the Tour de France. Noting that many teams run with two leaders, Levi seems to be taking a two-phased wait-and-see approach: wait and see if Basso/Discovery survive the current uproar, and wait and see who is the strongest come Tour time.

I couldn't resist my own take on the question: "much has been said about the tension with Basso, but I'm more concerned about the Tour of California. If I recall correctly, George hunted you down on Sierra Road. Is there going to be a little West Coast vs. East Coast this Tour of California? Are you going to uphold California's honor?" Levi answered my joking question with an interesting fact about the route: he tried to get the organizers to have the route go up Sierra Road twice and finish at the top, instead of the long, open boulevard run into the finish. As for the rivalry, "George owes me one."

Levi was surprised by one questioner who had inside information on Levi's wind tunnel session. Apparently, Levi's new time trial position has the lowest drag they have ever seen in that particular wind tunnel. After getting over the surprise at this 'top secret' information getting out, Levi noted that he can only use the new position on straights and he hasn't quite figured out if he can really ride it outside the wind tunnel.

(continue reading for video)

Basso to Discovery

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San Franscisco Grand Prix-77

"It's done" -- Lance Armstrong

After much speculation over whether or not Discovery Channel would sign a prominent rider under a cloud of suspicion, Basso will now be trading red and white for blue and grey. I'm a little surprised: Basso was cleared, but he steadfastly refused to submit to DNA sampling that would have definitively cleared him. I'm not saying that Basso is guilty for not submitting DNA; I'm just surprised that Discovery -- one of the few teams not impacted by Operation Puerto -- would sign him without such a test.

Basso to Discovery Channel

Basso looking strong

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The results of this year's CSC Criterium International (three straight CSC victories) will certainly have more people putting Basso into their Tour de France pools:

Criterium International Photos by Graham Watson

Basso showed his ability to jump with all the breaks and his great early season time trialing. In Tyler Hamilton's second Daily Peloton interview, he hinted at Bjarne Riis' unwillingness to bet it all on the Tour. With Basso yet again competing for a Giro title, there certainly isn't Armstrong-like mentality at CSC, but Bobby Julich is adjusting his training from last year to put in a stronger effort for Basso so it seems that there will be less of the "look, we're on TV" strategy that CSC has employed in the past.

One Tour favorite who will not be competing against Basso in the Giro is Floyd Landis, who has announced he'll be skipping the Italian tour. Was Floyd worried about peaking too early with all his early season success? Is he going to spend those three weeks training on Tour stages? Beats me, but Ullrich will be riding the Giro, so we'll get to see two podium finishers riding side-by-side.

San Franscisco Grand Prix-84

Basso is popular with the ladies and will be even more popular with Tour/Giro pundits

Barclays SF Grand Prix 2005

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Al, Jill, d and I went to the Barclays San Francisco Grand Prix on Sunday. There was no Armstrong this year due to retirement, but there were plenty of big names to go and watch: Basso, Hincapie, Leipheimer, Horner, and Zabriskie. Zabriskie only did a couple of laps due to prior injury to his right hand and Basso dropped out as well, but the rest raced strong.

The race was dominated by Team Discovery, which sent Michael Creed on an early breakaway as a carrot for the other riders to chase. Creed stayed away for nearly 50 miles before being caught by a breakaway that included his teammates Jason McCartney and Ryder Hesjedal, along with HealthNet's John Lieswyn. Hesjedal and Creed couldn't hold on and it was McCartney and Lieswyn that looked in control of the race. They were caught on the final lap by Gerolsteiner's Fabian Wegmann, who had tag-teammed with his teammate Andrea Molette to catch the lead pair. Wegmann had better sprinting legs and became the first non-North American to win the race.

Finishing Sprint

If you want more of a summary, I suggest reading the VeloNews article.

For all intents and purposes I had an all-access pass to this year's race. The security guards seemed not to notice me sneaking past them, though I had help from Al and Jill who had tickets into the VIP section. They fed me food from the VIP tents and we shook hands with OLN commentator Bob Roll. d and I both managed to sneak into the grandstands to watch the finishing sprint (Al scouted out the position of the guards) and then we jumped into the photographers-only area in front of the podium for the prize presentation. We then went over to the CSC tent and managed to get autographs from Dave Zabriskie, Ivan Basso, and Bjarne Riis. Al had found a wristband on the ground and decided that sending in Jill was the best strategy, which turned out beautfully. Their CSC hat has got a bunch of great signatures on it and my backpack has a left-handed Dave Zabriskie signature (his right hand is injured), which is charming in its own way.

autograph autograph hat

(note: I didn't have any photos of Basso to get autographed so I printed this one taken by Flickr user wuertele)

Partial photo listing (full photoset). d should also have photos of the event, which will hopefully be posted as well:

Armstrong's final victory, first of this Tour, and a great conclusion to his career. It looked like it would be a close one at the first check, with Basso in front of Armstrong and Ullrich, but by the next check there was no doubt: Armstrong was going to win this one and he would get the stage victory he needed to legitimize his yellow jersey. Armstrong will win this tour by 4:40, not his biggest margin, but a huge margin nevertheless.

Today's victory by Armstrong was all about preparation. While all the other riders were struggling through the technical course with their aerodynamic, rear disc wheels, Armstrong was nimbly picking apart the turns with a much more maneuverable three-spoke rear wheel. The equipment choice seemed to hurt Basso, who looked hesitant on the technical second leg of the course, dropping from seven seconds up in the first time check to 34 seconds behind Ullrich through the second check.

Top 8 finishers (four Americans!) and their gear choices: Hincapie, Evans, Landis, Basso, Julich, Vinokourov, Ullrich, Armstrong

The course was treacherous enough to cause 3rd-now-7th place Rasmussen to disintegrate, crashing twice and switching bikes 4+ times. Rasmussen was the real disaster story of this stage, and I can't ever recall seeing a worse performance by a rider in an individual time trial. Rasmussen wasn't going to hold 3rd place against Ullrich, but his collapse pushed him out of the top five overall. People will remember this stage for both it's great and horrible performances: Armstrong's dominating farewell and Rasmussen's catastrophe.

The Tour may be all but over for Armstrong, but some of the other GC contenders will duke it out tomorrow. Leipheimer broke into the top 5, but Vino had a great performance today and is now only 2 seconds behind him. It should make some of the intermediate sprints more interesting.