Ivan Basso was not exactly off to a flying start in the 6.2-kilometer first stage of this year's Giro d'Italia. The time trial with start and finish in the Belgian city of Seraing resulted in a 13th place for the Team CSC captain as well as a time loss of 23 seconds to last year's winner, Paolo Savoldelli (Discovery Channel). Nevertheless, Basso plays it cool.
"I had hoped for more, but I wouldn't exactly say I'm disappointed," the CSC team captain said. "Realistically, I expected to be about four or five seconds faster, but I guess today wasn't my day. But there are a lot of tough stages ahead, and I'm not worried about the time I lost to Savoldelli today. It's plain to see that he's in great shape, but at the same time he is a specialist in this particular discipline. The Giro is rolling now and there's still a very very long way to Milan."
Team manager Bjarne Riis also thought that the result was not a catastrophe, and even pointed at the bright side of the current situation. "I have to take my hat off to Savoldelli, who was truly in a class of his own," Riis said. "Like Ivan I'd also hoped for more from him, but there's no reason to panic. I know how hard he has worked to get ready for the Giro, and on the positive side of things at least we can spare the team a bit in the beginning, which will definitely prove an advantage later on."