Illness forces Petacchi to withdraw from lineup for Tour of Oman
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Monday, February 07, 2011

Illness forces Petacchi to withdraw from lineup for Tour of Oman

by Shane Stokes at 12:03 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Italian sprinter losing further ground to his rivals

Alessandro PetacchiAlready missing out on the Tour of Qatar due to bronchitis, Alessandro Petacchi has been forced to scratch his participation in the next event scheduled for his programme, the Tour of Oman.

His team has announced that further medical tests have revealed that his condition is worse than was originally thought, putting him off the bike for the foreseeable future.

Lampre-ISD team doctor Carlo Guardascione explained the situation. “Today Petacchi was visited in Lucca Hospital by Professor Guido Roggi, a well known lung specialist,” he said. “He diagnosed a serious bronchial asthma. It will be necessary to undergo an adequate therapy and to rest for 10 days. It’s too early to try to fix a timeframe for Alessandro's return to racing.”

Petacchi and his team will be frustrated by the news, particularly as many of his big rivals are already competing and, in some cases, already winning. Tom Boonen (Quick Step) won today’s second stage of the Tour of Qatar, while Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervélo) has taken the first two stages of the Challenge Mallorca races. The American’s win yesterday doesn’t officially count as the UCI has ruled that the use of radio by riders negates the result, but it remains clear that the American is in great form.

Petacchi won the green jersey in last year’s Tour de France. Boonen and Farrar will be two big rivals if he takes part in 2011, and so too Mark Cavendish. The HTC Highroad rider has crashed in both of his races to date, namely the Santos Tour Down Under and the Tour of Qatar, but even if he hasn’t yet got a win to his credit, he is clocking up important racing miles and ramping up his fitness.

Petacchi, meanwhile, is left sitting at home. He’ll hope for a quick recovery from his ailments, but it looks like being at least a fortnight before he can even consider racing. His preparation for stated goals such as Milan-Sanremo is therefore compromised.

The Tour of Oman runs from February 15 – 20.


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