Sir Bradley Wiggins rival Ivan Basso pulls out of Giro d'Italia
Basso is a two-time winner of the tour
Thursday 02 May 2013
Two-time winner Ivan Basso has pulled out of the Giro d'Italia two days before the race starts due to a cyst.
Basso's Cannondale squad said that the problem is located in the rider's seat area.
The news will be a boost for Team Sky rider Sir Bradley Wiggins who has made the Giro his focus for this year.
Basso won the Giro in 2006 and 2010 and was considered one of the outside favourites for this year's race, which starts in Naples on Saturday.
"My morale is shattered," Basso said. "But the first thing to do is take care of this problem and come back right away to prepare for the Tour de France and Spanish Vuelta.
"I'm an athlete who has already gone through tough times and I'll come back from this, too."
Basso served a two-year ban in 2007 and '08 after being linked to the Operation Puerto doping case, which was the subject of a court ruling in Spain this week.
Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes was found guilty Tuesday of endangering public health and given a one-year suspended jail sentence in the case. But the World Anti-Doping Agency is considering a possible appeal of the ruling by Judge Julia Santamaria, who ordered the destruction of more than 200 bags of blood and other evidence gathered in police raids on Fuentes in 2006.
Without Basso, the Giro favorites are Tour de France winner Wiggins, Vincenzo Nibali of Italy and defending champion Ryder Hesjedal of Canada.
Damiano Caruso will take Basso's place in the Cannondale squad for the race.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal Champions League fixtures: Gunners to open with Dinamo Zagreb trip, plus daunting back-to-back Bayern Munich ties
Kevin De Bruyne to Manchester City: £58m deal hits the rocks as Wolfsburg admits they're 'in no rush' to sell former Chelsea midfielder
Pogba to Chelsea: Blues set to smash British spending record with £70m midfielder and £34m John Stones
Manchester City face another struggle to make an impact in Champions League
Paul Pogba to Chelsea: Transfer news live - John Stones latest, Gareth Bale and Neymar to Manchester United, Edinson Cavani to Arsenal
- 1 Hair loss explained: How and why men go bald
- 2 Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe the Stark may have a twin sister
- 3 Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
- 4 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
- 5 Russia 'accidentally reveals' number of its soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine
Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting 'foreigners out'
France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious'
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs
£13000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to be part of a ...
£19000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT and Telecoms company ar...
£23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...