Basso on Giro performance: All I could do was defend

At the top of the Stevlio with his Giro d'Italia bid all but over, Ivan Basso acknowledged that his performance had fallen short his expectations. The two-time race winner sits 3:18 down on race leader Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha Team) in seventh place after two difficult stages in the mountains. With just a 30-kilometer time trial to come, Basso has little chance of moving up the overall classification.

“Today was a bad day, like yesterday and you just have to acknowledge that it hasn’t gone the way I or my team expected,” he said at the finish of stage 20.

“On the Mortirolo I already understood that things weren’t going well and when things aren’t going well, you can’t do anything other than defend yourself. As you saw, I had to defend myself on the last climb. It’s one of those situations where you can’t do anything good of your own. You can only acknowledge that the others were better.”

Despite two bruising days, Basso vowed to fight until the end of the race.

“The Giro finishes tomorrow. Granted, I can’t change much, but at least we’ll look to finish the Giro as best we can. I’m still fifth on GC. This doesn’t satisfy me, but I have to accept that there were others who’ve been better than me.”

While Basso’s fate is all but sealed the race for the podium order is still wide. The Italian wouldn’t be drawn on his thoughts on who would win, instead praising those who had out-performed him.

“I don’t know, I’m not very good at predictions. It’s still a very open podium,” he said.

“The only analysis you can make straight after a stage like that is to acknowledge the merits of those who were stronger.”

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