Damiano Cunego added to Canadian WorldTour sick list
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Monday, September 5, 2011

Damiano Cunego added to Canadian WorldTour sick list

by Ben Atkins at 10:57 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Bacterial infection keeping three-time Lombardia winner out of Québec and Montréal

damiano cunegoDamiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD) added his name to those that are to miss the two Canadian WorldTour races, the GP Québec and GP Montréal, which are set to take place this coming weekend. The Italian, who has been enjoying his best season for a number of years, is suffering from a bacterial infection and so will not be flying out with the team tomorrow.

Cunego is the second big name to announce that he will miss the race after Andy Schleck (Leopard Trek) pulled out yesterday because of needing a wisdom teeth operation.

"I'm sad that I won’t be able to take part in the GP Québec and GP Montréal races that I really enjoyed riding last year, and that I think are really suited to my characteristics,” said Cunego. “Along with the team’s medical staff we'll evaluate when I'll be able to return to racing in the final part of the season."

Cunego finished tenth in the Québec race last year, as part of the first chase group behind winner Thomas Voeckler (Bbox Bouygues Telecom), which was one of the Italian’s best results in what was an otherwise indifferent season. The hilly race, which takes in sixteen laps of a 12.6km circuit around the old city, suits Cunego well and after a better season he might well have done better this time.

This year Cunego missed out on the Giro d’Italia, his home tour, in favour of concentrating fully on the Tour de France. To the surprise of many the managed to finish seventh – which was worse than it should have been thanks to his usual poor time trialling – his best ever finish in the race. Prior to the Tour, Cunego finished a very close second in the Tour de Suisse, just four seconds behind Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack); once again though, he was let down by his poor time trialling, losing the race on the final stage.

Although he will be missing his biggest star, sports director Bogdan Bondariew is confident of the blue-fuchsia team’s chances.

"Despite Cunego's default the team will be competitive,” he said. “[Daniele] Pietropolli and [Leonardo] Bertagnolli will be the leaders for GP Quebec, while [Grega] Bole, who rested for some days after his victory in [GP Ouest-France] Plouay, will be the captain for GP Montreal. The rest of the team will be very reliable thanks to [David] Loosli, [Matteo] Bono, [Enrico] Magazzini and [Simon] Spilak."


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