I'm not buying Basso's statement from yesterday's news conference regarding his TT ability vs Jan.
Despite improvements in time trialing, Ivan Basso said he expectes to lose several minutes to arch-rival Jan Ullrich in each of the two long time trials that are the heart of this year's Tour de France. "I expect to lose two to four minutes in the time trials," Basso said in a press conference Monday."
Hasn't Basso improved his TTing ability since last year, when he dropped 1:30 to Jan in the final TT (stage 19)? Even though Jan is clearly on form after his win at the TdS, Cadel Evans finished 28 seconds behind him. Now, Cadel has also improved his TT big time but if he can finish that close I can't possibly imagine Basso losing 4 minutes even if the Tour TTs are longer.
If Basso drops even 2 minutes to Jan in either TT come July, I will be very surprised and extremely disappointed in him. Methinks he's taking a page out of the Armstrong playbook and shifting the favorites role to 'the most talented rider in the peleton.' Knowing Riis I'm sure the prepared remarks for the press conference were drawn up and rehearsed over the weekend........like right after the final stage results from Switzerland were posted.