Basso unhappy at Discovery rumours

Speaking exclusively to procycling, Ivan Basso has rubbished reports that he could walk out on the c

Speaking exclusively to procycling, Ivan Basso has rubbished reports that he could walk out on the c
Ivan Basso has this afternoon hit out at speculation linking him with a move to Lance Armstrong's Discovery Channel team. Speaking to procycling on Tuesday, Basso reacted angrily to rumours suggesting that CSC's lack of a co-sponsor for the 2005 season could prompt him to seek pastures new. "I don't know where this news has come from," said the 26-year-old Italian. "I can categorically deny having had any contact with the Discovery Channel team. I have a contract with CSC until the end of 2006, so I can't understand why people continue to ask about my future." Basso admitted that he had limited knowledge of the negotiations which CSC manager Bjarne Riis is said to be conducting with potential backers. "I have had a long season and need to rest. This speculation is unsettling," Basso said. "All I need to think about is getting some rest and preparing to win the Giro or the Tour next season." Earlier in the day reports in Italy had stated that UCI accountants Ersnt and Young would report on the financially viability of the 20 provisional Pro Tour licence holders on October 25. With CSC still nursing a shortfall in their budget, it was reported that the accountants' findings could threaten Riis's team's Pro Tour future, and in turn encourage Basso to link up with long-term admirer Armstrong. Asked whether all possibilities of him riding in a new team in 2005 should be excluded, Basso made the macabre admission that "nothing is ever certain in life: I could die tomorrow." "As I said, I have a contract with CSC for two more years," Basso concluded. An impressive third-place finisher at the Tour of Lombardy, Basso will now compete in Saturday's Firenze-Pistoia time trial event before a well-earned two-week holiday in an as yet unspecified destination.
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