Ivan Basso (CSC) improved his general classification position to third overall after today's 236 km stage between Cesena and Saltara. Basso finished sixth, 16 seconds behind Rik Verbrugghe, effectively losing 14 seconds to main rival Paolo Savoldelli (Discovery Channel), who took second in the stage and 12 bonus seconds, plus a two second gap to Basso.
"Today was the first really tough stage and I'm extremely satisfied with both Ivan and the rest of the team," said team manager Bjarne Riis on team-csc.com. "We worked hard at the front when the peloton was split and during the final, steep kilometres, Ivan was exactly where he should be. Tomorrow we have another very tough stage, but we have every reason to be optimistic after today's events."