Cunego ruled out of Tour de France
ROME, Italy -- Italian Damiano Cunego will miss the Tour de France as he recovers from mononucleosis, his Lampre-Caffita team has announced.
The 23-year-old Cunego, last season's cycling revelation after winning the Giro d'Italia and finishing the year with the top UCI ranking, was diagnosed with the virus after a lackluster performance in this year's Giro.
A statement issued by the team said that tests indicated Cunego was probably infected at the end of April and should be completely healthy again in two or three weeks.
Cunego finished more than 24 minutes behind winner Paolo Savoldelli in last month's race.
The Tour de France runs from July 2 to 24. Cunego, who recorded 13 wins in 2004, is a good climber and was hoping to challenge Lance Armstrong in mountain stages of the French race.
Without Cunego, Gilberto Simoni is expected to lead Lampre's team in the Tour. Simoni finished second in this year's Giro and has won the race twice in the past.
Cunego is now expected to focus on the one-day classics. The team will announce his schedule for the rest of the year in July.
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