Cunego complaint could affect Amstel ride

Gastro hampers 2008 champion's preparations

Lampre-Farnese Vini management are hoping Ardennes Classics star Damiano Cunego will be ready for this Sunday's Amstel Gold Race after the Italian developed a case of gastroenteritis at the recent Vuelta al Pais Vasco.

The Italian was forced to withdraw from the Spanish race and is still suffering from the effects of his illness, which have rendered him below his optimum for the event he won in 2008.

"Cunego is recovering from the viral gastroenteritis he suffered from in Spain and is taking a disinfectant cure for the bowel," said Lampre-Farnese Vini medical officer Dr Carlo Guardascione. "He feels fatigued when he tries to make efforts; this is a normal thing when you suffer from this kind of illness."

Directeur sportif Brent Copeland is confident in the team's ability to assist Cunego during the race, although he won't know until the squad trains on Thursday whether 'il piccolo principe' will be in a suitable condition to ride well in the event.

"Damiano performed the first training on Monday, pedalling for two hours; he feels tired and that's why the long distance training that he'll perform on Thursday will be important in order to evaluate if he'll be competitive in Amstel Gold Race," said Copeland.

"The team showed in the previous races that it's united and well organised, counting on riders such as [Matteo] Bono, [David] Loosli, [Alessandro] Spezialetti and [Daniele] Pietropolli. In addition, there will be [Manuele] Mori and [Daniele] Righi who are in a good fit and [Francesco] Gavazzi, who showed qualities that allowed him to compete with the top riders."

Lampre for Amstel Gold: Matteo Bono, Damiano Cunego, Francesco Gavazzi, David Loosli, Manuele Mori, Daniele Pietropolli, Daniele Righi and Alessandro Spezialetti.

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