Damiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD) has decided to end his participation in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco early having slipped down the overall standings in today’s stage to Eibar. Cunego crossed the line in 30th place, nearly two minutes behind stage winner Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and had dropped from seventh to 18th overall, trailing Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) by 1:49.
Speaking at the end of the fourth stage a contemplative Cunego said;
"I thought I could do better, but I also knew well that I'm not at the same level as the top riders in the race. I took part in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, which was not in my programme, with the aim of working hard in order to recover the race days that I had lost because of otitis.”
The Italian, who only decided to race in the Basque country after missing racing at the Coppi e Bartali, has had a less than ideal build up to his first key objective of the season; Amstel Gold but remains positive.
“The targets are the Ardennes Classics,” he added, “so I needed to race against the top riders and I think that is a normal thing that I'm making efforts.”
The former Amstel Gold winner will be looking to fine tune his form at home before heading to Maastricht on the 17th April.