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Fabio Aru out of Giro d’Italia due to knee injury

Italian Fabio Aru will not start the 2017 Giro d’Italia, his Astana team announced Monday. The 26-year-old, who finished on the podium in Italy in 2014 and 2015 and was regarded as one of the top favorites, has experienced a setback due to a knee injury.

“I’m so sorry and disappointed for what happened: I was dreaming the Giro start from my Sardinia and we were preparing the Giro since months,” said Aru in a translated team statement. “Unfortunately, the accident occurred, don’t allow me to be at the start in sufficient conditions and albeit with great regret, we are forced to give up.”

Aru crashed while training in Spain on April 2. According to Astana, he was seen in Milan and diagnosed with pre-patellar bursitis, which causes pain while riding. He’s been ordered to take 10 days off the bike and will be evaluated again on April 20.

This injury leaves Astana with few GC options in the Giro, which starts May 5. The Kazakhstan team will support Michele Scarponi, 37, who won the 2011 Giro after Alberto Contador was stripped of his title that year.

“We decided to come to the Giro with Michele Scarponi as our leader. He will replace Fabio Aru, who is forced to skip the race due to the knee injury,” said general manager Alexandr Vinokurov Tuesday. “As we already communicated yesterday, Fabio has to pass the full treatment and recovery from his injury, so he won’t be able to start in his home race. For all of us, his good and full recovery is on the first place, while his further calendar will depend on the time of recovery and the results in the first races after it.”

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