Suffering Basso set to continue

Ivan Basso had a weekend to forget, but the Italian is sticking with the Giro with his aim now to wi

Ivan Basso had a weekend to forget, but the Italian is sticking with the Giro with his aim now to wi

PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM

Despite enduring one of his toughest days on the bike on Sunday's stage to Livigno, CSC team leader Ivan Basso is determined to continue racing at the Giro, and is now aiming to claim a stage win in the final week. Speaking prior to the start of Monday's stage that has been shortened due to bad weather, Basso said: "When I'm back on my bike, I'll know whether it makes sense to continue in the race."

Basso finished more than 40 minutes behind stage winner Ivan Parra on Sunday's stage that crossed the fearsome Stelvio pass. "I suffered like never before, but I had to pull through," Basso explained later. "At the top of the first climb I tried to eat something, but I couldn't do it. I didn't manage to eat anything at all during the stage, so I was completely drained of energy. No strength in my legs and it was pure will power, along with my team-mates, which kept me going.

"I got through today, because I still want to try to achieve something in this race. Maybe stopping would've been the sensible thing to do, as I was in a lot of pain, but I couldn't," Basso confessed.

CSC team manager Bjarne Riis admitted it had been hard for him to sit in the team car and watch Basso suffer so badly. "On the Stelvio I asked him if it wouldn't be better to abandon the race - but he just said that he couldn't," said Riis. "A bit further up he told me that he already has set his mind on a stage win. I'm so sorry on Ivan's behalf, because I know how much he had counted on winning the Giro d'Italia. Now we'll have to take it one day at a time, but of course he has to recover from that bug to be able to carry on. There's no point in suffering unnecessarily."

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