Two-time Giro d’Italia champion Ivan Basso is the latest Cannondale star to make the move to Tinkoff-Saxo, signing a two-year deal to ride with multiple Grand Tour winner Alberto Contador, rising star Rafal Majka, and ex-Cannondale teammate Peter Sagan.
“Yes, I have signed a two year deal with Tinkoff -Saxo,” Basso told CyclingNews. “I am impressed by the project of Oleg Tinkov. It is the best team in the world.
“I [will] start from scratch with the determination and the desire of a new professional, but with the head and the experience of a veteran.”
Basso started his professional racing career by winning the National Under-23 Road Race Championships in 1998, followed by winning Best Young Rider in the Tour de France in 2002. He won the Giro d’Italia in 2006, then sat out 2007 due to a ban for using performance-enhancing drugs. He returned in 2008, won a few small races in 2009, then won the Giro for a second time in 2010.
The 36-year-old Basso had not seen success in his last two years with Cannondale, a team which lacked a strong General Classification contender for the Grands Tours. At Tinkoff-Saxo he will likely be riding support for Alberto Contador, one of the best stage-racers in the sport.
The addition of Basso and Sagan makes Tinkoff-Saxo one of the stronger teams on the World Tour.