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Cycling: Twice former champ Basso pulls out of Giro

Rider has cyst, 'morale in bits'

Cycling: Twice former champ Basso pulls out of Giro

Rome, May 2 - Two-time champion Ivan Basso has pulled out of this year's Giro d'Italia two days before it begins because of injury. Basso's Cannondale team said the 35-year-old rider has a cyst caused by saddle sore that stops him from pedalling properly. Basso, who is famed for his climbing abilities, won the Giro in 2006 and 2010, but he was not seen as one of the favourites for the world's second-biggest stage race this year. "The injury was really unexpected. I'm truly very sad not to be able to take part," Basso told state broadcaster Rai. "I was ready to face it in the best way and I'm convinced I would have done well. "My morale is in bits. It's the race I love most. But I'll certainly return next year and I'll be even stronger". The three-week Giro starts in Naples on Saturday and finishes in Brescia on May 26.

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