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Robert Kiserlovski leaves Touyr de Romandie, Giro d’Italia in doubt

Astana’s Robert Kiserlovski was forced to pull out of the Tour de Romandie due to lingering pain dating back to his spectacular crash at Paris-Nice and is questionable to start the Giro d’Italia next month.

Kiserlovski, who was expected to be one of Roman Kreuziger’s top helpers for the upcoming Giro battle, didn’t want to risk crashing again and reinjuring what MRI scans have revealed as a cracked vertebra. Kiserlovski suffered a horrific spill in the seventh stage at Paris-Nice when he slipped on wet pavement and slid under a parked van alongside the road.

“He really wants to take part in the Giro and has good legs to help Roman in the mountains,” said Astana boss Giuseppe Martinelli in a team release. “We will allow him to rest and what’s important is that he can sleep and recover, and we’ll take stock at the end of the week.”

Kiserlovski returned to racing at the Giro del Trentino earlier this month, where he rode to fifth in stage 3, but continued to have trouble sleeping and was suffering from back pain.

The Croat pulled out ahead of Tuesday’s prologue start at Romandie and did an MRI in Martigny, Switzerland, which revealed a cracked vertebra dating back to his March crash.

“He crashed a month and a half ago and we have already seen the bone (healing), but we must avoid that he crashes again, because it could be much more serious,” said Astana team doctor Simone Uliari. “It’s therefore more prudent that he goes home and we hope painkillers will help him sleep. He can still train, but he must avoid crashing again.”

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