July 15, 2003
Vini Caldirola rider Stefano Garzelli failed to start this morning because of a sore throat. The OLN team passed along rumors that Gilberto Simoni, still struggling along, might drop out before CORRECTION Thursday's stage.
Apparently Garzelli was unable to eat during stage 9 due to the inflammation and this morning he decided to abandon the race. Yesterday the Italian had a tough day on the way to Gap and came in nearly 33 minutes behind the stage winner. "I'm suffering from a sore throat again and I thought about abandoning today, but let's see how things go tomorrow," he told Cyclingnews after stage 9.
His teammate Eddy Mazzoleni had to abandon this morning also, but for different reasons. Mazzoleni has a huge blister on his foot and can't pedal, so he is unable to continue.
Garzelli finished second in the Giro d'Italia last month behind Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) and was considered one of the dark horses among the Tour GS hopefuls.
Seven teams still have their full roster, with 171 riders still in the race:
- US Postal
- Team CSC (with Tyler Freaking Hamilton)
- Brioches la Boulangere