Basso hit in the back in podium crash

Liquigas rider escapes unharmed

Italian Ivan Basso was struck in the back Friday by part of a podium's frame that fell due to wind. He was speaking on stage during the presentation of Tre Valli Varesine race in Varese, Italy.

"I can say that I am lucky because the incident could have been much more serious," said Basso. "Apart from the knock on the back and the shock, I am okay."

Basso left the incident in Varese for Livigno, Italy, to prepare for the three-week Vuelta a España, August 29 to September 20. He finished fifth in the three-week Giro d'Italia stage race in May and he is preparing to win the Vuelta a España.

He will train for 15 days at high-altitude in Livigno. Teammates Valerio Agnoli, Kjell Carlström, Francesco Chicchi and Ivan Santaromita are with him for the training camp.

"It will be a period of hard work for the Vuelta a España."

Basso won the Giro d'Italia in 2006. He placed three times in the top ten of the Tour de France, but has never raced the Vuelta a España.

He plans to return to racing at the Tour of Poland in August.

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