Paris - Italy's Fabio Aru will miss the Giro d'Italia to undergo an operation that will see him out for at least three to four months, his UAE Team Emirates employers said on Sunday.
Tests on the 28-year-old, winner of the 2015 Vuelta and twice a Giro podium finisher (2nd in 2015, 3rd in 2014), showed a "constriction of the iliac artery in his left leg".
"This relatively rare condition is found in professional cyclists given the position adopted on their bikes and can develop progressively over a period of several years," said Dr Jeroen Swart, head of the medical staff of UAE Team Emirates.
"In the coming days, with a date to be determined based on the availability of the hospital, Aru will undergo angioplasty surgery at the Nuovo Ospedale di Prato, after which he will have to observe an absolute rest period of one month. For something like this, the return time is estimated at three or four months."
That means Aru will miss the Giro, which begins on May 11 and also the March 25-31 Tour of Catalunya.
"From a certain point of view, I can only be relieved to have found the problem," Aru said.
"On the other hand, I am angry about the bad luck that has fallen on me for the umpteenth time and that will force me to miss the Giro d'Italia again. I will work to try to put an end to this dark period as soon as possible."