Ivan Basso’s easy smile and calm demeanor mask his instincts as a racer. The 36-year-old Italian is more of a smiling assassin: always polite, but can grind the best stage racers into bits on long uphill slogs, and then crush their remaining hopes in a time trial. If he comes to the finish line in a small group after a climb, he can win the sprint as well.
This two-time winner of the Giro d’Italia has been winning major international races since 1998, when he claimed the Under-23 World Championships. Upon turning pro in 1999, he set his sights on developing as a stage racer, and has excelled at this most taxing specialty ever since. His development has been on display ever since he first donned a number at the Tour de France, where he progressed from eleventh overall his first attempt, to seventh in his second, to third, to second, all in successive years. He capped this trajectory in 2006, when he won his first Giro, the second coming in 2009.
His 2013 campaign was built around winning the Giro for a third time. After a steady build in the spring, he pulled out of his final preparation event with less than a week before his home event. A perineal abscess was the issue, it kept him from a title run, and kept him out of racing until the end of July, when he was preparing for the Vuelta a España. In the Spanish Grand Tour, he was in contention, sitting seventh overall, until unlucky Stage Thirteen when he abandoned due to hypothermia in the near-freezing rain, a happenstance he called, “the saddest day of my career.”
Basso is a veteran of the sport, and his tactical savvy comes in handy both when he’s riding for a victory himself or dedicating his efforts to helping teammates. He’ll lead the team at stage races, lurking near the front until the climbs begin. After a rough 2013, he’s looking to exact his revenge on the peloton in 2014.
- 2012Japan Cup
- 2011GP di Lugano
1 stage and final classification Giro di Padania
- 20101 stage, team time trial and final classification Giro d’Italia
- 2009Final ranking Giro del Trentino
- 20061 stage and final classification Criterium International
1 stage Circuit de la Sarthe
3 stages, team time trial and final classification Giro d’Italia
- 20052 stages Giro d’Italia
4 stages and final classification Post Danmark Rundt
- 20041 stage Tour de France
- 2002Best Young Rider Competition Tour de France
- 20011 stage Giro del Mediterraneo
1 stage Bicicleta Vasca
1 stage Bank Austria Tour
GP Industria, Commercio e Artigianato Carnaghese
- 20002 stages Regio Tour
2002 - White jersey at Tour de France
2004 - 3rd place overall at Tour de France
2005 - 2nd place overall at Tour de France