Friday, April 24, 2009

Ivan Basso strikes fear in Trentino

Giro d'Italia favourite Ivan Basso struck fear into his opponents yesterday on the Alpe di Pampeago. The Liquigas rider finished second behind stage winner Przemyslaw Niemec (Miche-Silver Cross) in stage two of the Giro del Trentino.

"I believe that this is a great test after a reasonable time trial [stage one]. I can do better over longer stages with more climbs, this stage suited an explosive rider with only one climb," Basso told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Liquigas took the race under control in the finale, approaching the climb of Alpe di Pampeago. Basso led the reduced field in the final four kilometres, but had lacked a response for the explosive charge of Niemec.

Basso finished 22 seconds behind Niemec, who rides for Continental (third division) team Miche, and now is only four seconds behind overall leader Janez Brajkovic (Astana). His key Giro rivals finished further back on the stage: Gilberto Simoni (Diquigiovanni) at 45", Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo) 1:49, Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini) 1:50 and Marzio Bruseghin (Lampre-NGC) 3:24.

"There are still two hard stages left and I hope to be a protagonist," added Basso.

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