Italian champion down with mononucleosis

Italian squad Liquigas-Bianchi has announced two riders out of pre-season training. Current Italian champion Enrico Gasparotto is knocked out by mononucleosis, and missed the first team meeting of Liquigas 2006 in Salsomaggiore Terme. More importantly, the 23 year-old will not be able to ride for two months. "Better now than in the middle of the race season," was Gasparotto's resigned reaction. "I’m aware that this break will partially affect my plans for 2006: Unfortunately, at the beginning of the season I won’t be able to take part in every race."

Franco Pellizotti was unlucky too, but contrary to his team mate he managed to be in Salsomaggiore even with his right arm in plaster. "I crashed during the last training ride before the team meeting started," Pellizotti said, whose right wrist is broken. The Italian will start to train again within ten days.

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