Petacchi's Giro in doubt

Alessandro Petacchi's participation in the Giro d'Italia looks to be in serious jeopardy as the 34...

Alessandro Petacchi's participation in the Giro d'Italia looks to be in serious jeopardy as the 34 year-old Milram sprinter is now suffering from severe tracheobronchitis with bronchial spasms. Milram announced last week that its star sprinter was having to take his third health-related break since Milano-Sanremo because of the flu and now the Italian's condition has worsened.

In a statement released Sunday morning, Petacchi said: "Since Sunday I have a severe pain when I breathe. Sometimes I cough so hard that it feels like my chest is breaking in two. I have already lost three kilos and haven't been able to train for five days. I hope to improve in a hurry, because the Giro d'Italia is very near and another week without riding would be fatal for my preparations."

(Additional reporting and research provided by Susan Westemeyer)

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