Ivan Basso who was a last minute addition to today’s Tour of Lombardy, became a last second scratch. Basso, after meeting with Bjarne Riis decided to be a no show. This avoids the pending battle between the UCI and riders exonerated in the Operation Puerto. Who is responsible for the gamesmanship? Basso testing the waters trying to draw out McQuaid? Or was there backroom pressure on Riis to ‘help’ Basso decide to hold off while McQuaid gathers more Puerto information for his battle?
Further evidence of my worst case scenario is Alejandro Valverde who backed out when the Tour of Lombardy refused to acknowledge his ProTour victory. Remember, the Tour of Lombardy is organized by the Grand Tour, Giro d’Italia. This is the second ProTour snub. The other coming at the Vuelta.