CSC forges ahead; Basso now second overall | PostIndependent.com
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CSC forges ahead; Basso now second overall

VILLARD-DE-LANS, France – For Bobby Julich and the CSC team, Tuesday was a day of mixed blessings.The team’s leader, Italian Ivan Basso, moved up another notch in the overall standings, crossing the finish line again with Lance Armstrong, who won the race’s grueling 15th stage to take the overall race lead. Basso now occupies second place, 1 minute, 25 seconds behind the American.German Jens Voigt and Spaniard Carlos Sastre, meanwhile, rode brilliantly, too, in support of Basso, finishing ninth and 10th in the stage and returning Team CSC to the top of the team standings. It makes one wonder what the case would have been if Team CSC was at full strength. “I understand that not everyone understands my tactic,” said Team CSC director Bjarne Riis. “We have an idea very clear – to protect Basso. We have several riders who are not 100 percent, so we have to change our tactic a little bit and perhaps not ride as aggressive.”Sastre, for example, is suffering from a strained back.”My back is really bad, so I was really hurting on the final climb,” he said. Julich, meanwhile, began the stage despite an injured wrist he suffered in a crash on Sunday. The Glenwood Springs High School graduate finished the stage with the main peloton at 8:42, however, determined to continue the Tour in support of Basso. Swelling has decreased in the wrist, but he likely won’t be at his best in the Alps.”It just goes to show that in this sport you’re on top one day, you’re on the bottom the next,” Julich said. “We just have to hope it turns around again. Worst of all, Team CSC lost the services of aggressive Danish rider Jakob Piil, who hyperextended his knee in a crash of his own on Sunday. Piil, who rode like a man possessed during the Tour’s first week – spending more than 400 kilometers in breakaways – decided Monday to go home rather than continue the race and risk further injury.”We are riding with some other riders that are hurt. Julich is not so good after crashing, and Piil isn’t in the race anymore,” Sastre said. “But Basso is strong, and I will ride for him. The team is intent on pushing him to the podium.”For more on Julich, visit his Web site: http://www.bobbyjulich.com.


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