Disappointing result for Italian squad
The 15th place collected by Liquigas-Cannondale at the team time trial of the Tour de France wasn't exactly what the Italian outfit had in mind. All 22 teams took to the start of stage 2 on Sunday.
Two years ago, the last time there was such an event in the Grand Boucle, Liquigas-Cannondale finished fourth in Montpellier behind Astana, Garmin and Saxo Bank. In 2010, the team won the team time trial at the Giro d'Italia and it was third this year's at the opening stage of the corsa rosa in Turin.
"We can't be satisfied with this result, especially because it doesn't reflect our capacities in this kind of stage," the team's directeur sportif Stefano Zanatta said after the race. "We haven't managed to maintain the right race rhythm and we lacked the necessary accelerations to be competitive. However, this is a result that we have to use as a motivating factor to demonstrate that this has only been a bad day."
On the finishing line, team captain Ivan Basso didn't hide his disappointment. "I was hoping for something more," he told Cyclingnews. "But I don't think this was an important stage of this year's Tour de France. It's not a drama. Yesterday wasn't a good day either because we cannot enjoy the bad luck of other riders. Fortunately for us, the crashes went without any consequences but this is the Tour de France: every day, something unexpected happens."
"Our ranking is for sure not an excellent one", Basso said. "It wasn't a good day for us and we'll bear it in mind. The team has functioned well but obviously, our performance is below our expectations. Compared to what we've done in the past at team time trials, we haven't been that good, myself included. However, there is a battle at the Tour every day and we'll be up there for the next fights. I want to keep a positive approach of what's coming next. Let's look ahead, not behind."
Basso's preparation for the Tour de France was affected by a crash in mid-May on Mount Etna. He had a quiet Dauphiné and came to the Tour with no guarantee of having winning form, but he intends to honour the Tour as well as he can. He has said that he still feels indebted to the French event from which he was kicked out at the start in Strasbourg in 2006 due to his alleged involvement in Operacion Puerto.
"I want to be ready for the key stages," Basso said.
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