Gilberto Simoni has withdrawn comments he made after the Giro stage to Aprica suggesting that race w
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM Gilberto Simoni has retracted claims that Giro d’Italia winner Ivan Basso asked for money in order to let the Saunier Duval rider win the penultimate stage of the Giro into Aprica. After being questioned by an Italian federation disciplinary commission in Rome, Simoni said he had spoken out in the heat of the moment. “I made some erroneous statements but I didn’t want to damage Basso’s reputation, certain things are part of the race,” said Simoni. The two-time Giro winner was angered by Basso riding away from him on the final climb after he had earlier waited for the CSC leader on a descent so that they could cooperate on the road into the finish. Following the stage, Simoni accused Basso of ungentlemanly conduct and of being an extraterrestrial. “Simoni has denied everything. There was never any question of an agreement, even less so a sum of money,” said the rider’s lawyer, Giuseppe Napoleone. “However, he was interviewed straight after the finish and he was flustered. But there was never any mention of numbers, we now want the affair to be closed, also for the sake of the Saunier Duval team.” Simoni faces a fine and possible suspension from the Tour de France for his comments.