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Mystery affliction puts Riccardo Riccò in hospital

Rider's father talks of kidney and lung problems, hospital says condition improving...

It has been revealed that Vacansoleil rider Riccardo Riccò, currently preparing for his first full season of top-level racing following the end of his doping ban last year, was yesterday admitted to hospital in critical condition after being struck by a mystery illness while out training.

According to Italian press reports, the cyclist’s father has spoken of a “renal blockage,” however  a statement from the local health authority for Modena, where Riccò is now being treated in the S.Agostino-Estense hospital, did not mention a specific ailment, saying only: “His conditions, initially critical, are improving. The prognosis, to be prudent, remains reserved.”

Riccò’s father subsequently added that his son is now awake and talking normally, and according to the Gazzetta dello Sport described his son as suffering from a pulmonary embolism as well as kidney problems.

The same newspaper added that the hospital will provide a further update on Riccò’s condition tomorrow afternoon at 5pm Italian time.

Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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