Basso extends with Liquigas-Doimo until 2012
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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Basso extends with Liquigas-Doimo until 2012

by VeloNation Press at 9:49 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Ivan Basso has extended his contract with the Italian Liquigas-Doimo team. The team has signed Basso until 2012, in a deal that gives him the option to extend for another year.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport Basso also had an offer on the table from Bjarne Riis, but decided to stay at Liquigas-Doimo. The Italian rode for Riis for three seasons, 2004 to 2006. In his time with the Danish team Basso finished third (2004) and then second (2005) in the Tour de France, but was prevented from riding the race in 2006 due to implications in the Operación Puerto scandal, for which he was eventually suspended for what he explained as "attempted doping". He won the 2006 Giro d'Italia with Riis' then CSC team just before the scandal broke.  Whether Riis' Saxo Bank team having Andy Schleck as their undisputed Tour de France leader, or their financial situation could have been a factor is uncertain.

As it stands on Liquigas there are several potential Grand Tour leaders on the team, some might say too many to keep everyone happy. Vincenzo Nibali, seventh in the Tour de France this past year, already tried to make a dash to the new British Team Sky during the off-season, but the team forced the 25-year-old to see out the final year of his contract. Talented Czech Roman Kreuziger, 23, had grumblings during the season about the team's pecking order, stating he would be upset if Basso rode on their Tour de France team. He finished the Tour just two places behind Nibali in ninth. Italian Franco Pellizotti, 31, benefitted from Basso's work during this year's Giro d'Italia where he finished third overall, a place that may be improve to second should Danilo Di Luca lose his doping appeals.

In 2009 Basso took fifth place in the Giro and sixth place in the Vuelta a Espana.  It will be interesting to see what Liquigas-Doimo does during the season to keep all of their young talent on board beyond 2010.

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