Riccò's Giro hopes ride on hand improvement

Riccardo Riccò (Saunier Duval-Scott) continues to battle with a hand injury at the Giro d'Italia....

Riccardo Riccò (Saunier Duval-Scott) continues to battle with a hand injury at the Giro d'Italia. The Italian rider is hopeful the injury will improve before the event enters the mountain stages, in order for the rider to be a contender for the maglia rosa when the race arrives in Milano on June 1.

"My hand hurt during the race, but I overcame pain and reached the finish line," said Riccò after stage four. "I hope I'll get better; otherwise I'll have a rough time in the mountains, when I have to stand on my bike and press hard on the handlebar."

The Saunier Duval-Scott rider was concerned he would become involved in another crash on Stage four. Riccò was able to avoid a bunch of riders that came down ahead of him on the 183-kilometre stage to Catanzaro-Lungomare.

"When I saw the crash ahead of me, I though I'd wind up on the floor again, but I easily dodged the falling men," he explained.

Riccò has been critical of the route for this year's Italian Grand Tour. He hit out at the amount of curves, holes, ruts and train crossings in the 2008 course which has caused frequent crashes on nearly every stage of the event to date. Team CSC's Brad McGee and Stuart O'Grady were forced to withdraw, both with broken collarbones, after being involved in crashes on the same stage as Riccò.

Saunier Duval-Scott sports director Pietro Algeri said no new examinations would take place on his team leader's hand unless the injury got worse. Riccò was cleared of any break to his hand after having x-rays on Monday night.

"Riccò suffered today, but we'd expected this to happen," said Pietro Algeri. "I'd told him he'd feel the pain for a couple of days. If things don't get worse, no new X-rays will be taken of his hand."

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