Riccò laments Giro slip

Riccardo Ricco' surprised

Riccardo Ricco' surprised (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Giro d'Italia contender Riccardo Riccò (Saunier Duval - Scott) is kicking himself after taking a fall during Tuesday's key time trial. The Italian has been strong at his home Grand Tour to date and was already concerned about the amount of time he may loose to his general classification rivals prior to the time trial.

"I feel in good form and did not suffer a serious injury," he told AFP, referring to the fall. "But I have to ask myself: what if I lose the Giro by less than a minute?"

Riccò has already taken his team to glory at the race, winning two stages of the event during the first week. He said at a press conference on Monday's rest day he wasn't sure what to expect during the time trial and undoubtedly a fall was the last possibility on his mind.

"My glove got caught in the handlebar, which made it impossible to make a bend, so I wound up on the floor," said Riccò, who posted the 16th quickest time for the stage. "If not for this bad manoeuvre, I could have finished 40 seconds earlier, and that would've been a wonderful time-trial for a rider like me."

The Italian holds ninth place on general classification, 8.32 minutes behind race leader Giovanni Visconti (Quick Step). While he is still 11 seconds ahead of defending champion Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes), Riccò lost time to emerging contender Alberto Contador, who won the 2007 Tour de France, and his Astana team-mate Andreas Klöden.

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