During a short visit to Denmark, in which he fired the opening shot for the Copenhagen Six Day, Ivan Basso responded for the first time to Lance Armstrong's recent prediction that Jan Ullrich will win this year's Tour, writes Susanne Horsdal.
"I think Lance is right. The parcours doesn't favour me," said the Italian. "On the map it favours Ullrich." Asked if that remark was a way of relieving pressure on himself as the favourite, Basso became a little more tongue-tied.
"Over the past two years I've learned a lot and gained experience. I know what I want and I know my values," said the CSC team leader, who is still aiming at the Giro as well as the Tour.
Although in pure celebrity role on this occasion, Basso didn't just take a couple of days off. Instead he decided to make the most of it, and having brought his bike to Ballerup Super Arena did a couple of rare training sessions on the track before the velodrome specialists took centre stage.