Four years ago, prior to Operacion Puerto, the releasing of the coded name "Brillo," and a two-year ban for "attempted doping," Basso dominated the Giro in uncanny fashion; taking the overall by more than 9 minutes and winning 4 stages in the process.
On Sunday, Basso reached back in time, to the rider he knew he was and perhaps the rider he always dreamed he could be, and took Stage 15 atop the daunting Mont Zoncolan. Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) finished in second and Michele Scarponi (Androni Giocattoli) would slot into third for the second day in a row.
Results - Stage 15
1. Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo
2. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team
3. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
When the route for the 93rd Giro d'Italia was released last year, many pointed to Stage 15 and the mountain top finish on Mont Zoncolan as one that might ultimately decide the race. If the events and results were any indicator of who might be crowned the champion in fair Verona, then pre race favorites Ivan Basso, Cadel Evans, and former Tour de France winner, Carlos Sastre (Cervelo Test Team), represented themselves well.
Though David Arroyo (Caisse d'Epargne) and Richie Porte (Team Saxo Bank) remain at the top of the General Classification, the final week, which kicks off with Tuesday's uphill Individual Time Trial will prove if they deserve to wear the maglia rosa.
General Classification - After Stage 15
1. David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
2. Richie Porte (Aus) Team Saxo Bank
3. Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo
4. Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa) Cervelo Test Team
5. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team
6. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana
7. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo
8. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
9. Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Team Milram
10. Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Liquigas-Doimo
Jersey Leaders - After Stage 15
maglia rosa - David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
maglia ciclamino - Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team
maglia verde - Matthew Lloyd (Aus) Omega Pharma-Lotto
maglia bianca - Richie Porte (Aus) Team Saxo Bank
Next: May 24th - Second Rest Day; Stage 16 - ITT - San Vigilio di Marebbe to Plan de Corones (12.9 km)
Up, Up and Away!
Photo: Getty Images