Despite a disastrous illness in the Dolomites a week ago, CSC's Ivan Basso has made it worth his while to hang around.
The Italian has won back-to-back stages in the Giro d' Italia, winning the 21-mile individual time trail from Chieri to Torino on Friday.
Once a favorite to win the Giro, Basso is now using it to test his mettle for the Tour de France in July. His win today sends a message to another bicycle racer who does well in time trials and will try for his 7th Tour de France win this summer — Lance Armstrong.
American David Zabriskie (CSC), winner of the previous Giro time trial, finished 20 seconds back in third place, behind Russian rider Vladimir Karpets of the Illes Balears team.
Discovery Channel Pro Cycling team's Paolo Savoldelli — the overall leader — finished fourth, 23 seconds back. That's more than a minute ahead of Gilberto Simoni, his closest rival, who is now about 2 minutes and 9 seconds behind in the general classification.
Savoldelli and Simoni are expected to go head-to-head in the Giro's penultimate stage on Saturday, a 117-mile race with three climbs, including the 11-mile grind up Colle della Finestre with an average gradient of 9.6%.