Ivan Basso confirmed his condition yesterday in the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon. The Italian from Varese finished seventh in the opening 10 kilometre time trial, nine seconds back on winner Vladimir Karpets (Caisse d'Epargne). Also of importance is that all eight of his Discovery Channel teammates, men he will rely on for the Giro d'Italia, finished in the top 14.
"I think I am going very well," he confirmed to La Gazzetta dello Sport. The 29 year-old had a scare at the beginning of this month, when in the Tirreno-Adriatico he crashed and nearly fractured his left wrist. "Above all, in light of the problems that I had before, to have a time trial run like this shows optimum overall condition."
The time trial had its risks. The course was short but it was held over damp roads, which made Basso all the more cautious. "In the finale there was at least four dangerous curves. ... I went with more caution than normal. If I would have risked it more then I could have ended up on the ground.
"When I heard I had the same time as Egoi Martínez I understood that I went strongly, but during the run I did not have the times given to me so that I could win. It was a short and hard effort, I only thought about riding."
Both Basso and the team are happy to see that his wrist did not give him any problems. The general feeling is that he did well to pull out of the Tirreno in order to rest his injury. "Inflammation of the wrist? Luckily, it has not given me any problems."
The race continues today with a 157 kilometre stage.