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CSC looks to Pyrenees

It was a day of gains and losses for the CSC team. Its general classification candidate Ivan Basso moved up the standings to third place as riders who had been strong in the flat stages fell away on the first day in the mountains. But Basso was dropped on the climb to Courchevel, finishing the stage just over a minute behind Alejandro Valverde and Lance Armstrong, and 2'40" adrift on GC.

CSC team manager Bjarne Riis put on a brave face and echoed Basso's comments the previous day that the Pyrenees would be decisive, telling Belgian TV, "I think it's not too bad. Okay, it [would have] been better if Basso was up there with Armstrong and Valverde. I think in the end he had to drop back a little, but if he doesn't lose more than this it's fine. It's still early in the Tour. The Pyrenees will be hard. I think he's OK."

On CSC's website, Riis later added, "When [Basso] was dropped, he did the only right thing. He found his own pace and kept his cool. A lot of big riders suffered today, and I'm glad we avoided that. I think we did an OK stage, although it was a pity Basso was dropped."

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