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Basso withdraws from Giro d’Italia due to cyst

Two days before the start of the Giro d’Italia, two-time champion Ivan Basso was forced to withdraw his name from the Cannondale team start list due to a perineal cyst, Italian sports paper La Gazzetta dello Sport reported Thursday.

The cyst, which is reportedly “larger than a golf ball,” does not contain liquid and cannot be drained with a syringe, preventing Basso from getting on a bike.

Together with a team doctor and manager Roberto Amadio, Basso decided Thursday morning to pull himself from the race that he’s won twice, in 2006, before serving a doping suspension, and again in 2010, following his suspension.

Basso, who finished fifth last year, will be replaced on Cannondale’s roster by Damiano Caruso.

“On Sunday morning I had a fever, which rose very high,” the 35-year-old Italian told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “I tried Tuesday to ride 50 miles, but I cannot stand, or sit, on the bike. It will be resolved only with surgery. It’s a pity, I would have definitely been a protagonist at the Giro.”

 The Giro d’Italia (Tour of Italy) begins in Naples on Saturday, and ends in Milano on May 26.