Spaniard Benjamin Noval has been pulled from the Astana team's Giro d'Italia roster just one day before the race's start. Noval, who has been suffering from stomach problems since Wednesday night, will be replaced by Swiss rider Steve Morabito. Noval had been called up to replace Dmitry Muravyev earlier in the week, but feel ill and has been unable to eat.
Team director Sean Yates made the call to replace the rider, who would have been at a serious disadvantage starting a demanding three-week tour without the proper reserves. "We waited as long as possible to take a decision", Yates explained. "Friday 10:00 am was our deadline. We then had to register the team.
"It is not safe to let him be part of the team," he continued, expressing concern that Morabito is able to arrive in Sicily on time for Saturday's team time trial. "Steve has the right condition. He proved that already in the Tour de Romandie, where he was one of the best helpers for overall winner Andreas Klöden."
Astana for the Giro d'Italia: Assan Bazayev, Antonio Colom, Alberto Contador, Vladimir Gusev, Maxim Iglinskiy, Andreas Klöden, Levi Leipheimer, Andrej Mizurov and Steve Morabito.