Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ivan Basso Pleased With Liquigas Control

By Gregor Brown

Ivan Basso is happy with how his Liquigas team took control of the final kilometres of the Giro d'Italia Dolomite stage to San Martino di Castrozza. His team-mates protected the 2006 champion from sudden accelerations, keeping him with the favourites to battle for the eventual general classification title.

"This is how the team was designed, to control these climbs," said Basso. "The climb was hard, but too short to make the selection."

Liquigas charged the front of the peloton after its Italian rival LPR Brakes ceased control of the race. Sylvester Szmyd and Franco Pellizotti, respectively, led the charge in the final five kilometres on the 13.75-kilometre climb of San Martino di Castrozza.

Colombia's Mauricio Soler (Barloworld) fired a late attack that almost succeeded. LPR Brakes' Danilo Di Luca, the 2007 race winner, closed the gap in the last 250 metres to take the stage ahead of a group of 16, including Basso.

"Danilo did well," said Basso. "We wanted to have Pellizotti anticipate, which is what Danilo ended up doing it. Soler ruined the game, but we're not bitter because we showed well and I had great sensations."

Basso, 11th overall at 53 seconds behind Thomas Lövkvist (Columbia-Highroad), will have another chance to cease control of the race today. The three-week race enters its fifth day with a 125-kilometre stage, ending with a 24.9-kilometre climb up Alpe di Siusi.

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