Ivan Basso starts a blueberry farm in his home town
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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Ivan Basso starts a blueberry farm in his home town

by Ben Atkins at 4:03 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Former Giro d’Italia champion prepares to return to his roots post retirement

ivan bassoIvan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) is making preparations for his life after cycling, la Gazzetta dello Sport reports. The two-time Giro d’Italia winner is starting a blueberry farm in his hometown of Cassano Magnago, to the south of Varese in north west Italy; returning to the trade of his family.

In an interview with his local newspaper, Prealpina, Basso outlined his reasons for starting his farm, and what he hopes it will bring to the community.

"In this society, where everything is quick, not many have the courage to take risks, so that they forget their true history,” he explained. “I decided to make a choice to go against the current, to return to the work of my grandparents and my great-grandparents. I'll be a grower of blueberries in my city.”

Basso’s decision is not such an unusual one, with many of his Tuscan compatriots choosing to invest in olive groves in their retirement. Returning to the business of his family’s previous generations, though, he hopes will help out the people of his local area.

“It’s beautiful to feel useful in the place that you were born,” he said. “Furthermore, especially in the crucial months of the harvest, we will be able to give employment to a quite a lot of people. It will take about eight thousand hours of labour, to respond to the crisis. As soon as I stop riding, I'll be there among them often.”

Fans needn’t worry about Basso’s immediate future however, since the 34-year-old intends to continue racing for a couple more years at least.

“For a little while longer my tool will remain my bike's handlebars,” he reassured. “But after that you’ll find me here in the middle, with my boots on, tasting the nature and the tranquillity.”

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