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Riccò hospitalized for possible kidney ailment

Riccardo Riccò awaits the start of the Grand Prix d'Ouverture La Marseillaise.

Riccardo Riccò awaits the start of the Grand Prix d'Ouverture La Marseillaise. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Italian cyclist Riccardo Riccò suffered a sudden illness after a training ride on Sunday afternoon and was taken to the hospital, according to reports in La Gazzetta di Modena. Riccò's father spoke of "kidney failure", but the 27-year-old Italian's ailment has not yet been confirmed.

After being admitted to a hospital in Pavullo, Italy, Riccò's condition worsened necessitating a transfer to S.Agostino-Estense. The Italian climber's condition has improved, but he remains under observation.

A press release was issued by S.Agostino-Estense stating, "Following an illness yesterday afternoon, Riccardo Riccò has been hospitalised in Baggiovara. His condition, initially critical, is improving. As a matter of prudence, the prognosis is reserved."

Another statement will be issued at 5 p.m. on Tuesday providing an update regarding his condition.

The Italian climber returned to racing in March of 2010 with the Flaminia Ceramica team having served his ban from a positive test for CERA at the 2008 Tour de France. Riccò later transferred to the Vacansoleil team on September 1 on which he concluded his 2010 season.

Riccò remains on the Dutch Vacansoleil-DCM for 2011, which has moved from Professional Continental to ProTeam status this year.

Riccò has raced once this season thus far, making his racing debut at France's Grand Prix d'Ouverture La Marseillaise on January 30th where he finished in seventh place.