Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) has admitted that he is still suffering from the after-effects of his recent training crash in Sicily and that he has no aspirations of doing anything other than building form at the Critérium du Dauphiné.
The Italian ceded over three minutes to winner Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto) on the race’s opening road stage, which finished atop the climb to Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse. Basso had already struggled during Sunday’s prologue, finishing a lowly 102nd in his first race since the Tour de Romandie.
“I’m too far behind to get a result,” Basso told Gazzetta dello Sport after stage one. “Three weeks ago I was in hospital, I don’t have the rhythm of the best riders.”
Basso fell heavily during a training camp at Mount Etna in May, sustaining facial injuries. Although he only spent two days off the bike in the immediate aftermath of the crash, it took significantly longer for him to resume full training and he explained that he is behind in his preparation.
“In cycling you can’t invent anything,” Basso said. “But the base is there. You just need to have patience, and I do.”
Rather than compete for the overall classification, therefore, Basso is at the Dauphiné with the sole intention of gauging his form ahead of the Tour de France. He was dropped as soon as the pace went up on a notch on the shallow climb to the finish on Monday's stage, but he insisted that he was not concerned by his inability to match fellow Tour de France contenders such as Cadel Evans (BMC) in the finale.
“Normally, I don’t like to come to a race to train, it’s not my style,” Basso told L’Équipe. “At the end of the Dauphiné, I’ll know what volume of work I still have to do.”