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Throughout this week Ivan Basso has been the undisputed champion of the Tour of Denmark, and after having taken the first three stage wins he cemented his superiority by also winning the 13.8-kilometre time trial, beating team-mate Jens Voigt by 24 seconds on Saturday evening, writes Susanne Horsdal.
"The past year I've worked a lot on my time trialling, and even though there's neither a Lance Armstrong nor a Jan Ullrich riding here, Jens Voigt is a very skilled time triallist, and beating him by 24 seconds is good," explained Basso after his clear win - his fourth stage win in the race.
Even CSC team manager Bjarne Riis was impressed. Asked if he'd expected Basso to win by such a big margin he spontaneously answered: "Hell, no. I was doubtful whether he would even be able to beat Jens, because he rode really well. But Basso was flying. It's the best time trial I've ever seen him do."
For Voigt the defeat was obviously a disappointment and also a bit of a surprise. "I actually thought that my time was good enough to win. But being beaten by 24 seconds is a lot," admitted Voigt, who triumphed in the discipline in last year's edition of the race.
Earlier in the day Italian sprinter Paride Grillo had won the half-stage from Assens to Odense, after a day when the sun finally showed itself.
"I just don't like riding in the rain. I need the sun, and today was also the first chance for us because Team CSC has controlled everything the other days," said the Panaria rider, who was led out perfectly by team-mate Graeme Brown and beat Ag2r duo Alexandre Usov and Tomas Vaitkus.
The 23-year old Italian came to Denmark with the aim of winning a stage after having booked five second spots earlier this season, including one on stage 12 of the Giro d'Italia, and is the first rider to break CSC's dominance of this race.
- Team CSC has signed Dane Martin Pedersen. The winner of this year's under-23 Lige-Bastogne-Lige had some different options but chose to go for those offered by Bjarne Riis's team. Pedersen will remain with his GLS team for the rest of the season and is aiming at a world championship title in the under-23 ranks in Madrid.
Stage 4, Assens-Odense
1 Paride Grillo (Ita) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare 90km in 1.56.36
2 Alexandre Usov (Blr) Ag2r
3 Tomas Vaitkus (Lit) Ag2r
4 Martin Pedersen (Den) GLS
5 James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
6 Iljo Keisse (Bel) Chocolade Jacques
7 Andre Greipel (Ger) Wiesenhof
8 Jan Svorada (Cze) Ed' System
9 Marcin Lewandowski (Pol) Intel
10 Jens Erik Madsen (Den) Glud & Marstrand
Stage 5, Nyborg TT
1 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 13.8km in 16.15
2 Jens Voigt (Ger) CSC 0.24
3 Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) CSC 0.40
4 Tomas Vaitkus (Lit) Ag2r 0.43
5 Lukasz Bodnar (Pol) Intel 0.51
6 Lars Bak (Den) CSC 1.00
7 Sergei Matveyev (Ukr) Panaria 1.02
8 Rory Sutherland (Aus) Rabobank 1.05
9 Jacob Moe Rasmussen (Den) GLS 1.08
10 Bogdan Bondariew (Ukr) Intel
19 Steve Cummings (GB) Landbouwkrediet 1.29
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