Giro d'Italia: Two-time champion Ivan Basso forced to withdraw with cyst
Last Updated: 09/05/13 10:49am
Ivan Basso: "Shattered" by injury that has forced him to withdraw
Ivan Basso has withdrawn from the Giro d'Italia, 48 hours before the scheduled start of the race.
The two-time winner, considered an outsider for this year's event after an indifferent season, has a cyst in his lower back.
The Italian's place in the Cannondale team will go to Damiano Caruso.
"My morale is shattered," Basso said. "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.
"I'm an athlete who has already gone through tough times and I'll come back from this, too."
A Cannondale statement read: "After a further evaluation of the lesion it was clear that there was no chance of Ivan pedalling during the next days.
"The team doctor, in agreement with the athlete, and with the team, decided that it was best not to start the race."
The Giro begins in Naples on Saturday and runs until May 26.