Corti comments on Basso offer

Basso in the Giro

Basso in the Giro (Image credit: Sirotti)

Ivan Basso, since being allowed to continue racing by the Italian Olympic Federation (CONI), has been linked with several teams, and one of those teams is Claudio Corti's Barloworld. It would be somewhat of a surprise move since Barloworld is a non-ProTour squadra but one that has some foundations.

Corti, at 51 years-old, has a long relationship with cycling. During his racing days he was an amateur World Champion (1977), then as a pro he was twice Italian champion (1985 and 1986). After his time on two wheels, the Bergamasco joined the management of Chateau d'Ax (1990), a team that included Gianni Bugno and Tony Rominger in the ranks. Corti found his way from the couch company to the caffè company, Saeco, in the late 1990's. While at Saeco he was associated with many top names: Mario Cipollini, Paolo Savoldelli, Danilo Di Luca, Gilberto Simoni and Damiano Cunego, and most recently working with Igor Astarloa at Barloworld.

Speaking with, Corti, regarding Ivan Basso, explained "I feel that it is better a rider expresses himself on the bike. And if there is not a guilty judgment you should be able to do this."

"I did not think in these terms," said the Italian when asked if signing Ivan Basso could negatively impact Barloworld's entrance into the ProTour. "I made an offer to Ivan because I believe that he can be a rider for us."

Speaking about Barloworld's pro continental status and the alleged offers from other ProTour teams, Corti noted, "I am not able to say, because I don't know about the other offers. ... To be among the top level teams would give the certainty of riding in the Giro and Tour." Further adding, that with Barloworld "Basso would be able try again at winning the Giro."

Corti is continuing to build his squad for the 2007 season. "Fifteen [riders]. We will be expecting Ivan, even if Discovery remains the big favourite."

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