Pinotti out of Italian world championship team

An ear infection means Gasparotto takes his place for Melbourne

Marco Pinotti has been forced to pull out of the Italian team for the world championships in Australia because of an ear infection.

The HTC-Columbia rider had been selected to ride both the time trial and the road race but will replaced by Enrico Gasparotto in the road race.

"I was ill with a cold before the Tour of Britain and it developed into an ear infection. I might be better in a few days but the Italian team leaves for Australia on Tuesday and I didn’t know if I'd be okay to fly by then," Pinotti told Cyclingnews.

"I took antibiotics during the Tour of Britain but I visited an ear specialist in Italy after I pulled out of the race and he advised me against flying such a long distance while I still had the problem. The Italian Federation rightly didn't want to take any risks and opted to change the team."

"It's a pity because it would have been the first time I'd ridden the road race. I also think I had a chance of a medal in the time trial. Hopefully I can recover quickly and target the Tour of Lombardy and the GP des Nations time trial. They will now be my world championships."

Italian national coach Paolo Bettini moved quickly to name Gasparotto as Pinotti's replacement. Bettini has still to decide who, if anyone, will replace Pinotti in the time trial.

Marzio Bruseghin was the planned reserve but he has 15 stitches in his arm after a crash at the Vuelta. That leaves Vincenzo Nibali as the only possible candidate. However the young Liquigas-Doimo is fighting for overall victory in the Vuelta. If he rides the time trial, it could affect his build-up for the road race.

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