Aru withdraws from Giro del Trentino due to illness

Fabio Aru has withdrawn from the Giro del Trentino, citing illness. The Astana rider will not participate in the four-day race, which gets underway on Tuesday, as he is reportedly suffering from a stomach virus.

Aru had spent almost three weeks training at altitude on Mount Teide in Tenerife prior to the Giro del Trentino, which was due to be his final race before the Giro d'Italia, where he lines up as Astana's leader following his third place finish a year ago.

"Fabio completed a solid training block with his teammates at altitude in Tenerife this month and has very good physical condition at the moment, but unfortunately he caught something after he returned home and was very ill over the weekend," Astana trainer Paolo Slongo said in a statement on the team's website.

The 24-year-old Aru has not raced since March 29 and has amassed just 15 race days in total so far in 2015, at Paris-Nice and the Volta a Catalunya. In order to complete his preparation for the Giro, which starts in San Remo on May 9, he could now participate at next week's Tour de Romandie, where he would line up alongside Vincenzo Nibali.

"To race a good Giro d'Italia I need to race a good Giro del Trentino, and I am disappointed to miss an appointment in April," Aru said. "My teammates and I trained very hard for this race, and I will do my best to recover and work with the team directors to find a solution for some more racing ahead of May."

Aru has raced the Giro del Trentino in preparation for the Giro in each of his first two seasons as a professional, finishing 4th overall in 2013 and 7th a year ago. On those occasions he had also raced sparingly in the opening months of the season: twelve months ago, he arrived at the Giro d'Italia with just 13 days of racing in his legs.

The Giro del Trentino gets underway on Tuesday with a 13.3km team time trial from Riva del Garda to Arco and features a tough summit finish at Val Dei Mocheni on stage 3. Richie Porte (Sky), Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Ryder Hesjedal (Cannondale-Garmin) are among those preparing for the Giro d'Italia at the race. 

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