Vincenzo Nibali will not line up at the start of today’s fifth stage of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco due to a saddle sore, his Bahrain-Merida team has announced. The Italian was sitting in 45th place overall after yesterday’s stage, nearly seven minutes down on race leader Primoz Roglic (Team LottoNL-Jumbo).

“The athlete suffers from a painful skin lesion located in the rider’s seat area,” the Bahrain-Merida team doctor Emilio Magni explained. “For preventive purposes and to facilitate a complete recovery in view of the next commitments, it was decided to withdraw from the race.”

“We have decided that it was better for Vincenzo to go home because of the importance of the next races that he will take part in Belgium in about ten days,” added Directeur Sportif Gorazd Štangelj. “It was useless to continue in these conditions and expose the rider to greater risks.”

Vincenzo Nibali flies back to Italy today to recover. The winner of Milan-San Remo is scheduled to line up at both Amstel Gold Race on April 15th and Liège-Bastogne-Liège on April 22nd.


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