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· wheel to wheel
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bornin53 said:
This was from the live ticker for stage 21 on VeloNews:

5:27 PM More on Simoni v. Basso
RAI TV is reporting that Basso (apparent misprint, should read Simoni ??) [Edit: no, Basso] demanded money from Basso [Edit: Simoni] to let him win Saturday's stage, a charge Basso denied in a press conference Sunday morning. "I told him at the top of the descent (off the Mortirolo) to not take any risks and nothing more. Everything else is not true. It's not the first time Simoni has blown up at the end of a race." Ouch.
Copied from the Simoni thread:

I've seen this exchange several times now (and am fluent): the exchange went like this:
1. On the descent of the Mortirolo, Basso asked Simoni not to leave him alone on the descent. Basso admits this. Simoni agreed and was definitely pacing Basso, turning his head at every corner. The RAI motorcyclists affirm this.
2. It was assumed by everyone (even at the time; therfore I assume Simoni as well) that this would be a typical racing "exchange": Simoni gets the win (or at least the chance at the sprint) for pacing Basso down the descent. If Gutierrez cracks on the Aprica, Simoni might even get second on GC.
3. 3km from the summit of the Aprica, Basso attacked unexpectedly and then resumed his pace. Simoni could not keep up. Basso takes the stage with the baby picture.

My feeling is this:
a) Basso was wrong to agree to an implicit collaboration, if he absolutely wanted the stage win. In that case, he should have let Simoni go and then caught him on the climb. Still, Simoni could not keep up with Basso, so I don't "blame" Basso for the victory. But if he asked for collaboration and then went against it, that's wrong, because Simoni would have raced differently, on the descent and towards the Aprica.

b) Simoni was wrong to take his anger to the TVs. I understand his frustration, and he is very temperamental, so I can see how he would think Basso "screwed" him. Nonetheless it was wrong to vent on TV and create this polemic. He should have more class than that. In his outbursts, however, he is often correct more than not.

Regarding the "money", I don't know: Simoni insists Basso asked for it, Basso denies it, Simoni called him a liar, and walked away. Leter he said he has lost a lot of respect for Basso.

Remember, last year Simoni lost the Giro because Savoldelli found collaboration on the last stage. Perhaps he was expecting similar help from Basso this time around.
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