Basso records first win since his return in Trentino
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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Basso records first win since his return in Trentino

by Agence France-Presse at 12:50 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia, Race Reports and Results

Ivan Basso has won his first race since returning from a two-year doping suspension on Saturday, winning the Tour of Trentino.

The 31-year-old's compatriot Danilo Di Luca won the fourth and final stage, a 214.2 kilometres ride, with Basso finishing fifth.

It was the first victory for Basso since he won the 2006 Giro d'Italia.

His win in the Tour of Trentino couldn't come at a better time in terms of his preparation for the 2009 Giro, which is celebrating its centenary this year and begins on May 9 in Venice.

Basso was delighted to have broken his duck and also took note that he was running into form at just the right time.

"Winning once again, after such a long time, is really very pleasant," he said.

"I have done a lot better here that I had thought I would. We have worked really hard these past three weeks, by simulating with the team the 20 days of the Giro. And today has seen the result of that."

Basso went on to reveal how hard his time away from the circuit had been for himself and his family and admitted that the image of him as a dope cheat would never be forgotten.

"I have been through three difficult years. And I dedicate this success to my family for all the things they have had to suffer and also to the team who have placed their confidence in me.

"However, these bad experiences have only served to strengthen my resolve.

"This thing (his involvement in the Puerto scandal) should never have happened.

"It will remain an indelible stain on my career, and on my reputation, but I believe that people who are winners, who have character and charisma, succeed in turning over a leaf.

"I have restarted from zero, with my feet firmly on the ground. I knew well that I could not return at the same level which I was at when I stopped.

"I have returned a humble man and worked in silence. Now I am thinking of the Giro: it will be my first major stage race for three years and I know that it could be difficult, but the team is motivated and competitive to put on a good show."

Result of the fourth and final stage of the Tour of Trentino, a 214.2km ride between Sillian (Austria) and Pejo Fonti on Saturday:

1. Danilo Di Luca (ITA) 4hr 58min 19sec
2. Giampaolo Caruso (ITA) same time
3. Stefano Garzelli (ITA) s.t.
4. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA) s.t.
5. Ivan Basso (ITA) at 04sec

Final overall standings:
1. Ivan Basso (ITA) 13hr 17min 50sec
2. Janez Brajkovic (SLO) at 22sec
3. Przemyslaw Niemec (POL) 33sec
4. Stefano Garzelli (ITA) 55sec
5. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA) 01min 08sec


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