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Cunego retires early from Pais Vasco

Damiano Cunego finishes the fourth stage of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco.

Damiano Cunego finishes the fourth stage of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Damiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD) has decided to end his participation in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco early having slipped down the overall standings in today’s stage to Eibar. Cunego crossed the line in 30th place, nearly two minutes behind stage winner Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and had dropped from seventh to 18th overall, trailing Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) by 1:49.

Speaking at the end of the fourth stage a contemplative Cunego said;

"I thought I could do better, but I also knew well that I'm not at the same level as the top riders in the race. I took part in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, which was not in my programme, with the aim of working hard in order to recover the race days that I had lost because of otitis.”

The Italian, who only decided to race in the Basque country after missing racing at the Coppi e Bartali, has had a less than ideal build up to his first key objective of the season; Amstel Gold but remains positive.

“The targets are the Ardennes Classics,” he added, “so I needed to race against the top riders and I think that is a normal thing that I'm making efforts.”

The former Amstel Gold winner will be looking to fine tune his form at home before heading to Maastricht on the 17th April.

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Alex Hinds, Production Editor

Sydney, Australia

Alex Hinds is a graduate of Economics and Political Science from Sydney University. Growing up in the metropolitan area of the city he quickly became a bike junkie, dabbling in mountain and road riding. Alex raced on the road in his late teens, but with the time demands of work and university proving too much, decided not to further pursue full-time riding.

If he was going to be involved in cycling in another way the media seemed the next best bet and jumped at the opportunity to work in the Sydney office of Cyclingnews when an offer arose in early 2011.

Though the WorldTour is of course a huge point of focus throughout the year, Alex also takes a keen interest in the domestic racing scene with a view to helping foster the careers of the next generation of cycling.

When not writing for Cyclingnews Alex is a strong proponent of the awareness of cyclists on the road in Sydney having had a few close run-ins with city traffic in the past.