Basso happy despite losing secondClose
Ivan Basso may have lost second place in Besancon, but the Italian is still pleased with the way hisPICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE Barring accident or illness, CSC's Ivan Basso will end the 2004 Tour de France on the third step of the podium in Paris on Sunday after what was for him a very satisfactory time trial on today's penultimate stage. "I'm pleased," the 26-year-old Basso said with a smile at the finish. "I don't know my time yet, but I think I rode a good time trial. Of course I'd prefer to finish second overall, but Kloeden is very strong, so I'm happy with third." The Italian finished sixth, 2-50 down on stage winner Lance Armstrong, and 1-23 down on third-placed Andreas Kloeden, who now leapfrogs him in the overall classification. Basso was also pleased with his Tour ride over the whole three weeks. "The team rode strongly for me here," he said. "It was a difficult race, but I'm happy." And when asked if he would return in 2005, there was a very emphatic "Yes!"