Ricco In Hospital After Getting Ill During Training

ROME, Feb 8, 2011 (AFP) – Italian cyclist Riccardo Ricco has been
hospitalized after he was taken ill during training, Italian news agency ANSA
reported late Monday.

The Vacansoleil racer was first reported to be in a critical condition but
later reports said he was making progress.

ANSA said that “his state of health, critical to start off with – according
to the Nuovo Ospedale Civile Sant’Agostino Estense di Baggiovara clinic – has
improved,” but the report reserved any judgment on further progress.

Rubinho Ricco, the racer’s father, said he had suffered a “kidney failure”
after a Sunday training session amid reports he could be suffering from kidney

He added his son was conscious and talking while the hospital said it would
update the racer’s news Tuesday afternoon.

Ricco, 27, returned from a 20-month suspension in March after he was found
to have taken EPO substance CERA during the 2008 Tour de France.

Ricco – nicknamed the ‘Cobra’ – rode for Ceramica Flaminia earlier this
season but wanted to move to a bigger team and Vacansoleil fitted the bill as
they are seeking to be allocated a ProTour license for next term.