Ivan Basso (born 26 November 1977) is an Italian professional road bicycle racer who is currently racing with Italian UCI pro tour team Liquigas-Doimo. Basso, nicknamed Ivan the Terrible, is among the best mountain riders in the professional field of the 2000s, and is considered one of the strongest stage race riders. He is a winner of the Giro d'Italia, having won the 2006 edition of the Italian Grand Tour whilst riding for Team CSC. However, in 2007 Basso was suspended for two years. His suspension ended on October 24, 2008, and he returned to racing two days later in the Japan Cup, where he placed a close third behind Damiano Cunego and Giovanni Visconti.
He was born in Gallarate, in the province of Varese in Lombardy. There he grew up next door to Claudio Chiappucci, a former three-time stage winner in the Tour de France who later retired after being proven guilty of doping several times.
As an amateur, he finished second in the 1995 junior World Championships and his first big result was winning the U-23 World Championships in 1998. In his youth he fiercely competed with fellow Italian riders Giuliano Figueras and especially Danilo Di Luca who proclaimed he would have won the U-23 World Championship himself had it not been for the team tactics. Before Basso could turn professional, his parents wanted to see him finish his Technical Geometry studies. He turned professional with Davide Boifava's Riso Scotti-Vinavil team in 1999, where he rode his first Giro d'Italia. He did not finish the three-week race, but he made it a priority to win it some day. In 2000, with the team now called Amica Chips-Tacconi Sport, he won his first professional victories in the 2000 Regio Tour.