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)