Rasmussen out

Rabobank's Michael Rasmussen dropped out of the Giro d'Italia yesterday, deciding not to start stage 15 because of inflamed Achilles tendon in his left leg that has started to cause him problems in the last few days.

"I'm a bit annoyed not to be able to complete Giro d'Italia as I had planned. I have an infection in my heel that has spread to the Achilles tendon," said Rasmussen on his website, www.feltet.dk/michaelrasmussen.

"Now I will have to take it easy for a couple of days, and then I will take it from there. Hopefully it will not be necessary to take antibiotics. I prefer to avoid that if possible. Antibiotics might be good for the injury, but it is bad for a lot of other things. So, I'd prefer it to heal by itself without being taking any medicine," he said.

Rasmussen feels he could have finished the Giro, but that might have jeopardized the rest of his season. "It is Tour de France that matters," he said, "and there is no reason to compromise on that. Now, it might get rid of the injury in a few days. If I had gone all the way to Milan, I might have been forced to rest for a week."

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