November 09, 2006
New Discovery Channel team leader Ivan Basso told La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian) his new team has promised to let him pursue the Giro-Tour double, as he intended to in 2006.
“I'm incredibly happy. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say it's a new life for me - I feel reborn," Basso said. "The squad are committed to supporting me in the double challenge of the Tour of Italy and the Tour de France.
“It's a project that fills me with enthusiasm. The team and I have the same ambitions. Now I am thinking about taking a week's holiday, somewhere hot, and near the sea. Then I will think about 2007.”
Apparently, a number of other managers believed the International Association of Professional Cycling Teams had a gentleman's agreement (read was colluding) to keep Operación Puerto associated riders from signing new contracts unless they undergo a DNA test.
Bjarne Riis, translated by CyclingNews:
“In his events I have lost too. I am left without the best in the world, but I also risked my team disappearing,” said the Dane to La Gazzetta dello Sport Wednesday afternoon. “Only a few days ago, the ProTour teams had expressed their intentions to no longer engage the riders entangled with Operación Puerto in addition to requiring a DNA test. In reality, in the end, the interests of individuals prevail while the initiatives go disregarded.”
Disco Camp starts December 3rd in Austin.