Bruyneel indirect regarding Basso, no comment on Prudhomme

By Mark Zalewski Discovery Channel boss Johan Bruyneel declined to comment regarding the decision by...

By Mark Zalewski

Discovery Channel boss Johan Bruyneel declined to comment regarding the decision by Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme to request riders implicated in Operación Puerto not be included on teams' starting roster for the Tour de France. Specific to Discovery Channel is rider Ivan Basso who Prudhomme does not want included in his races.

However, Cyclingnews spoke with Bruyneel following Levi Leipheimer's back-to-back stage wins at the Tour de Georgia. Bruyneel said that Leipheimer was always set to be the leader at the Tour de France and Ivan Basso the leader for the Giro d'Italia, implying that the issue with Prudhomme was settled, but without answering the one question on everyone's lips: will Ivan Basso contest the Tour de France?

"Levi at the Tour has always been the plan - it's the only Grand Tour he is going to do," said Bruyneel. "[Levi] was very strong. His performance yesterday was already very impressive - with the difference between guys like Zabriskie and O'Neill. It definitely means he is on good form. He absolutely wanted to win the stage and when we came to the bottom of the climb we made sure Janez could stay with Christian [Vande Velde.] He said he was ok and we [let Levi go.]"

When asked to comment directly on Prudhomme's remarks, Bruyneel simply said: "No comment."

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