Wiggins rival Basso out of Giro

Giro d’Italia

  • Dates: 4-26 May (13 and 20 May are rest days)

Coverage: Live commentary on the final hours of each stage on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra or online; live text commentary on BBC Sport website

Two-time Giro d’Italia winner Ivan Basso has withdrawn from the race two days before it starts in Naples.

The 35-year-old Italian, who was expected to be one of Sir Bradley Wiggins’s rivals to win the three-week race, has a cyst on a buttock.

“It was clear there was no chance of Ivan pedalling during the next days,” a Team Cannondale statement said.

Basso won the Giro in 2006 and 2010, while Wiggins is aiming to become the first British winner of the race.

“My morale is shattered,” said Basso. “But the first thing to do is take care of this problem and come back right away to prepare for the Tour de France and Spanish Vuelta.”

Fellow Italian Damiano Caruso has been drafted in to the nine-man Cannondale squad to replace Basso.

Wiggins created history in 2012 by

becoming the first British winner of the Tour de France.

The Team Sky rider, 33, has also stated that he

wants to win both the Giro and Tour de France this year

– a feat last achieved by Italian rider Marco Pantani in 1998.

The Giro begins in Naples on Saturday, 4 May and finishes on Sunday, 26 May in Brescia.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/22378440

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