Former winner Ivan Basso (Cannondale) abandoned hopes of racing the Giro d’Italia this year. With only two days to the start in Naples, the Italian succumbed to a nasty saddle sore.

Italy’s top team announced the news this morning at 8:46 local time.

“Yesterday morning when he woke up, Basso noted an unpleasant surprise with an evident and gross swelling,” read a Cannondale statement.

Team doctors evaluated it over the last 24 hours. “After further evaluation, it would have been impossible for Basso to ride over the next few days.”

Damiano Caruso replaces the 35-year-old rider from Varese, winner of the 2006 and 2010 Giro d’Italia editions.

Basso appeared to be behind form this spring. Last week, he was a non-starter in the final stage of the Tour de Romandie won overall by Chris Froome (Sky).

Basso was unavailable when Cycling Weekly called for comment this morning.

Related links

Giro d’Italia 2013: The Big Preview

Giro d’Italia 2013: Who will win?

Giro d’Italia 2013: Coverage index – links to all of our stage previews, news, reports and photo galleries

Giro d’Italia 2013: Start list tracker