Saturday, February 21, 2009

Basso heads home after freak injury

Ivan Basso heads home from California tomorrow having decided not to start Friday's time trial after he injured himself during his warm up.

The Italian banged his knee on his tri-bars when his foot came out of the pedal. Basso was doing a lap of the course in Solvang when his chain jumped off of the drivetrain. When this happened his cleat came out of the pedal and his knee shot forward in to the back of his handlebars.

Although the injury is nothing serious he and his team manager decided not to risk anything and instead fly home to Italy to get it checked out. "It's just some pain," said Basso. "I was happy with the feelings [when riding] and was happy to be here for the six stages. It's been good preparation."

Basso had been lying in 13th place before the time trial, 42 seconds behind Levi Leipheimer. Although it is unlikely he would have challenged Leipheimer for the lead, he had been consistent as he continues his comeback from his doping suspension.

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