Team Cannondale has confirmed that two-time winner Ivan Basso (Cannondale) will not be on the start line in Naples on Saturday for the Giro d'Italia. Speculation surrounding the 35-year-old's presence in the race was circulating Wednesday night.
Basso is suffering from a cyst in an undisclosed location. His place in the Giro will be taken by teammate Damiano Caruso. The cyst was discovered on Wednesday and the team frantically attempted the cure the problem with antibiotics.
"It happened out of the blue. I had a bit of a temperature on Saturday and hen it got worse on Sunday. Yesterday we spent all day in hospital trying to treat it but there was nothing we could do to ensure I could start the Giro d'Italia," Basso told Sky Italia.
"I was ready to do well and I was convinced I could have done well. The Giro is the race I love more than any other. But I'm sure I'll be back next year and I'll be even stronger."
"My moral has been shattered but I'll bounce back. I'll resolve the problem and get ready for the Tour de France and the Vuelta. I've been through some tough moments as an athlete and I'll get through this one too."
The 35-year-old Italian won the Giro in 2006 and 2010 but has struggled for form in the last twelve months. He finished 5th in last year's Giro d'Italia and 25th in the Tour de France after suffering with illness. This year his best result was 4th overall in the Settimana Ciclistica Internazionale Coppi-Bartali.
"This morning, upon waking, after a further evaluation of the lesion it was clear that there was no chance of Ivan pedalling during the next
days. Dr. Corsetti, in agreement with the athlete, and with the team, decided that it was best not to start the race," the team said in a press release. Basso will return home on Thursday.