Following his horrendous crash in stage 18, Damiano Cunego will not take the start in the Tour with only three days remaining. Initially hopeful to continue, Lampre's PR Manager Andrea Appiani confirmed to Cyclingnews last night that Cunego would have to abandon.
After the stage Cunego was immediately transferred to a hospital in St. Etienne. The Lampre rider suffered no fractures, but many contusions at the chest and the belly, at the face and at the arms. He received five stitches on the chin and bandages on chest and arms. He felt pain when breathing.
Cunego left the hospital and, after having talked to the team's doctor, Dr Andreazzoli, and the technical staff, the decision to abandon was taken.
Cunego fell after 30 kilometres in stage 18. He was quickly over seven minutes behind. Four riders of his team, Massimiliano Mori, Marco Marzano, Daniele Righi and Paolo Tiralongo, waited and paced Cunego into the finish inside the time limit, constantly about 10-12 minutes behind the peloton.
It would have been nice to see the award of the most combative rider given to Cunego, who bravely fought to the finish, despite his injuries.