By Gregor Brown
Discovery Channel's Ivan Basso returned to his home in Cassano Magnago on Saturday, leaving the 42nd Tirreno-Adriatico after having crashed in stage three with forty kilometres remaining. "I could not stand up on the pedals and I was not able to control my bike," described the 29 year-old Italian to La Gazzetta dello Sport before going home. "There could be another crash, and to continue like this would be irresponsible."
Basso will seek the security of his home roads for training, skipping the Milano-Sanremo on Saturday. "In one week the problem should be resolved. Now I will train intensely at home, where I know the roads, and potholes."
Ivan started Saturday's stage 4 with his left wrist bandaged, after being visited by the UCI for a surprise blood test, only to abandon after 48 kilometres. "There was not a fracture, and that is important. If the pain is bearable I want to continue and not change my schedule leading up to the Giro." Basso will make his return in the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon, March 26-30.
Words of encouragement came from his formal rival and, now, mentor, Lance Armstrong. "Lance sent me an SMS of encouragement that said 'Go, calmly push ahead.'"