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An interview with Ivan Basso - Page 2, January 29, 2007
Ivan Basso exclusive: Discovering the Basso era
...Continued from page one.
CN: Johan Bruyneel has some unique leadership skills, given that he managed to work so well with Lance who certainly has a strong, unique personality.
CN: Ivan, how was it to see Lance?
CN: You went riding with Lance, too. How did that go?
CN: It's inevitable that we talk about Operación Puerto. Your case has been shelved by both the Italian and Spanish cycling authorities. What is the situation for you now?
So it's a simple answer because me, my team, my fans, everyone, want me to ride my bike strongly and to ride strong, you don't need to have a lot of useless thoughts in your head. Just think about being a racer. Everyone has their role and some of the elements of [Puerto] are followed by the lawyers. So the athlete shouldn't be involved or have it in his head, his heart or his emotions.
I'm just thinking of my profession, which is a bicycle racer and to ride strongly.
CN: And if something else comes out in the future about Operación Puerto and Ivan Basso?
I'm paid to win races, I have to work hard and to do that I can't worry about things that are not in my competence.
CN: Talking about your hard work and your objectives for the 2007 season, what will be the key appointments for you this season?
I'm a rider who has made my career on the Giro and Tour as the most important points, it's clear that those are the objectives for the rest of my career. That's where the mind goes, but it's a long way away and I'll maintain my calm, first start racing again and win again soon, I hope. I'll get in some breaks, hear the whirr of the chains, the noise of the tires, the attacks, the racing.
So it's useless to talk too much about my race program. I just want to start racing again, to live the race experience again, whichever it is.
CN: Did you have a chance to look at the courses for the Giro and Tour this season?
I had extra work this winter and in past years I could spend more time looking at the stages. This year I've spent a little less time on this as I've had the technical things to work on, like the position on my road bike, my time trial bike, saddle, shoes. There were a lot of changes and it was fundamental for me to head to the California training camp with everything in order.
My road bike was easier to adapt to; the time trial bike takes much more time to adjust the position. After three years of working with one company (Cervelo), then changing to another (Trek), I want to find the same performance.
CN: I understand you are going to do some wind tunnel testing after the Tour of California in San Diego and Lance will be there to consult?
I don't have great condition yet, but I'm convinced that the time I spent in December and January on these little details has really helped me out through this. [Discovery] has followed all the changes which have been a lot and I've needed a lot of material like stems, aero bars and the team was always there. I was doing tests and video position checks; to just be static on the rollers is one thing, but it's really important to go out and test the material on the road.
You need to see your position when you are going 50 kilometres an hour, not at 25 - that doesn't help. So I tried to give a lot of attention to this and I'm really, really, really satisfied.
CN: There is a time trial at the Tour Of California next month…
I'll be there in good condition to ride a good race, but not a competitive level with the best. California is just the beginning of my season. I can't expect a real result in the time trial to be competitive there.
CN: I believe that Levi Leipheimer will probably be the team leader for Discovery Channel at the the Tour Of California. Do you know him?
And I think there's room for me, for him, for all on the team. I don't see any hassles because I'm also able to do my job as a professional rider, to stay in my place, to understand if in a certain moment when another rider is stronger, there's no problem to work for them.
CN: Do you know Tom Danielson? Didn't you ride in Fassa Bortolo together?
I'm a person who gets along with everyone. I think if you talk to my ex-teammates from Fassa Bortolo and CSC, no one has ever had any problems with me. Okay, maybe I'm not simpatico with everyone, that's normal, but I know how to stay in my place, how to value the others.
CN: It's January 2007 and you have gone through a lot in 2006. Where do you hope to be one year from now as a cyclist, in January 2008?
As for luck, I think you have to make it since it's just doesn't happed. You don't win races by luck, you win with commitment, with constant work and sacrifice. The only thing that an athlete in my situation can ask for is to be healthy.
Return to page one of the exclusive Ivan Basso interview.