By Gregor Brown
Riccardo Riccò of Team Saunier Duval-Scott has decided to skip the Milano-Sanremo, this Saturday. The 24 year-old Italian, who formed an escape duo with Belgium's Philippe Gilbert in last year's race, is still suffering from pains resulting from a crash in Tirreno-Adriatico's stage three.
After a training ride of two hours yesterday, 'The Cobra' from Formigine confirmed that his form wasn't "good enough to guarantee a good performance" in the 298-kilometre race from the fashion capital to Italy's Ligurian coast. More tests are expected to be carried out on Riccò, who is still suffering pains in his right gluteal muscle.
Riccò's bad luck really started 24 hours prior to his crash in stage three; his bike bumped against Linus Gerdemann's in the stage two final and spokes were broken in his rear wheel. After crossing the line, clearly frustrated, he tossed his race machine through the air - a moment of "anger" that seemed to summarise his emotions this week. He is now expected to rest and concentrate on his form for the Giro d'Italia in May.
Riccò will be replaced by Javier Mejías for Milano-Sanremo, who will join Manuele Mori, José Alberto Benítez, Aurélien Passeron, Ángel Gómez Gómez, Eros Capecchi, Ermanno Capelli and Raivis Belohvosciks.