2006 Giro d'Italia winner, Ivan Basso, still has not found a team for the coming 2007 season. The Italian from Varese was allowed to race after the Italian Cycling Federation (FCI) officially shelved the investigation files regarding his involvement in Operación Puerto on October 27 but he will not likely partake in any race action until the new year.
Top on Basso's list of teams are rumoured to be Discovery Channel and Barloworld, the former at the ProTour level. Following the ruling by the International Association of Professional Cycling teams (AIGCP) last week, requiring riders linked to Operación Puerto to submit to DNA testing before being allowed to sign with ProTour teams, it is likely riders like Basso, Jan Ullrich and Francisco Mancebo will be looking to join professional continental teams.
"I am in stand-by," said the 28 year-old Italian to La Gazzetta dello Sport before departing to Japan on a planned trip to a bike show. "But it is important that I decide [on a team]. I am coming from a very difficult season and when I start training I will not have a minute's rest. Actually, there are still many things to put together and we are not sure of the particulars."
If the former-CSC man goes to a non-ProTour setup, then the team would be dependent on wild card invitations to get into the bigger races, like the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France. However, working in favour of Basso, is the continued disagreements between the Grand Tour organizers and the UCI ProTour Council (UPTC), which could allow more freedom by the grand tours in how they select the participating teams.
"Selecting a ProTour team is not fundamental," confirmed Basso. "There are some very valid offers from the professional [continental] teams; it is probable that I will go to one of these. The grand races are outside of the ProTour and to be a part of a ProTour team is not necessary."