The same Italian team that has shown interest in Jan Ullrich and Tyler Hamilton is now interested in Ivan Basso. Tinkoff Credit Systems, a new Professional Continental team for 2007, has their eyes on the former CSC man and winner of the 2006 Giro d'Italia.
"We still have a few remaining positions to fill and Ivan Basso is very interesting for us," confirmed Team Manager Omar Piscina to La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Last week, Tinkoff Credit Systems announced 16 riders that have already been signed for 2007. A Tinkoff press release read, "The team will be soon complete with three more members, of which will be one of top-level, with whom there are ongoing negotiations."
In addition to Italian Basso, the Russian-financed team is said to be courting German Jan Ullrich and American Tyler Hamilton. Both Basso and Hamilton are clear to ride, and the former was cleared by the Italian cycling federation two weeks ago, stating that he desire to return to cycling even if it is not in a ProTour team.
"Selecting a ProTour team is not fundamental," confirmed 28 year-old to La Gazzetta dello Sportthree days ago. "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."
After recently confirming Evgeni Petrov, the team officially has the following riders: Elia Aggiano, Pavel Brutt, Ilya Chernetsky, Mikhail Ignatyev, Anton Mindlin, Evgeni Petrov, Ivan Rovny, Alexander Serov, Nikolay Trusov and Sergey Klimov (all Russian); Salvatore Commesso, Daniele Contrini and Ruggero Marzoli (Italian); Danilo Hondo and Steffen Weigold (Germans); and Spaniard Ricardo Serrano.