The UCI will remove Italian Danilo Di Luca from its ProTour standings, the organisation announced today. Di Luca has led the series since taking the overall classification of the Giro d'Italia, but his luck turned when he was first excluded from the World Championships and then sanctioned by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI), who gave the 31 year-old a three month suspension which began on October 16 for his involvement in the "Oil for Drugs" scandal.
The UCI issued a statement on Thursday announcing that Di Luca was "excluded from the UCI ProTour ranking in accordance to the article 18.104.22.168 of the UCI regulations." That rule states that any suspended rider will be excluded from the classification if the suspension lasts "until the last event counting for the ranking". Because Di Luca was suspended just prior to the final ProTour race, the Giro di Lombardia, he will lose the entire series.
His removal puts Australian Cadel Evans in the white ProTour leader's jersey for the final event in Italy. Alberto Contador moves up to second place, but will not ride the Giro di Lombardia. Therefore, Evans can hold off third placed Alejandro Valverde and fourth placed Oscar Freire and win the overall series if he gets at least 7th place.