Siutsou out of Giro d'Italia after TT recon crash

Bahrain-Merida will start the 2018 Giro d'Italia one rider light after Kanstantsin Siutsou crashed while performing a recon of the opening-day time trial course on Friday morning. 

The Belarusian was one of a number of fallers on the technical 9.7km course, which was previewed by much of the peloton ahead of the start of the race. Overall favourites Chris Froome and Miguel Angel Lopez both suffered abrasions but will start the race. 

Unfortunately for Siutsou, his injuries are such that he will not be able to take part in the 101st Giro d'Italia. The Bahrain-Merida team announced the 35-year-old's withdrawal on Friday morning and, after tests at a nearby hospital, it was confirmed he had broken a bone in his back. 

"He has a composite fracture of the third cervical vertebra," said team doctor Carlo Guardiascione.

"The fracture will be checked next week in Italy. In this moment we are waiting for a particular cervical collar (type Philadelphia). After we have organised with the Giro's medical staff travel in an ambulance to the hotel in Tel Aviv, it will follow the flight in security to Italy.”

Siutsou has twice finished in the top 10 at the Giro, and was set to play a key support role for Domenico Pozzovivo this year. He came into the race in strong form, having won the Tour of Croatia last month. 

Cyclingnews' live coverage of the Giro's stage 1 time trial is underway here

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