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Ivan Basso doesn't apparently pay too much attention to the fact that he's riding in flat, wet and windy conditions this week because for the second day in a row the Italian triumphed in the Tour of Denmark, when he somewhat surprisingly managed to overtake T-Mobile's Danielle Nardello on the finishing straight in Aarhus to win the second stage, writes Susanne Horsdal.
"We worked well together on the last lap, but you can't really call it a sprint. It was a breakaway with Nardello, and I'm not bad in a sprint on a difficult stage with lots of little hills, wind and rain. Denmark is considered flat, but that's not quite true," said Basso, who dismissed the idea that he's now also a sprinter.
Most of the second stage was dominated by a break away consisting of Ag2r's Christophe Riblon and Team Post Denmark's Martin Mortensen, but after about 150 kilometres of the 185k-long stage, the peloton, lead by CSC, put their feet on the gas pedal and quickly reeled them in.
In the final three 4.7km laps in Aarhus, it looked like a bunch sprint finish, but Nardello had different ideas and broke away on the penultimate lap. Basso was quick to take his wheel and together they managed to keep the peloton at bay.
"When we came to the laps our plan was to ride the sprint for Kurt-Asle Arvesen, but when I saw Nardello attack I took his wheel," explained Basso, who obviously kept his yellow leader's jersey and has so far proven that he's clearly the strongest rider in the race.
"Of course it looks like a power demonstration, but we just profit from being the strongest team here," said a very pleased CSC team manager Bjarne Riis.
The sprint for third place was won by Team Wiesenhof's Andre Greipel, who now trails Basso by 19 seconds overall.
Stage 2, Viborg-Aarhus
1 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 185km in 4.31.08
2 Daniele Nardello (Ita) T-Mobile
3 Andre Greipel (Ger) Wiesenhof
4 Ilzo Keisse (Bel) Chocolade Jacques
5 Martin Pedersen (Den) GLS
6 Michal Precechtel (Cze) ZVVZ
7 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) Ag2r
8 Alexandre Usov (Blr) Ag2r
9 James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
10 Roy Sentjiens (Hol) Rabobank
1 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 9.26.01
2 Greipel 0.19
3 Nardello 0.23
4 Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) CSC 0.25
5 Havard Nybo (Nor) Glud & Marstrand 0.28
6 Usov 0.29
7 Mondory 0.30
9 Jens Erik Madsen (Den) Glud & Marstrand
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM