Danilo Celano won't be riding a bike or doing much else for a few days after his eye swelled up with an insect sting

We’ve heard plenty of excuses for riders not taking to the start lines of races or abandoning halfway through, but Caja Rural rider Danilo Celano has a pretty good reason for not starting the La Route d’Occitanie on Thursday.

Celano had been due to take to the start line of the opening stage in Cap Découverte as part of the seven-strong Caja Rural team, but the team have now been forced to call in a replacement after Celano had a nasty reaction to an insect sting.

The team posted a photo of the Italian on their Twitter profile, showing his left eye being swollen to the extent that he was unable to see out of it, along with the caption: “Danilo Celano will not be able to finally be with his companions in the La Route d’Occitanie because of a small problem with an insect that prevents him from riding a bike 🙁. Speedy recovery!”

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In place of Celano, the team have called in 27-year-old Spanish rider Antonio Molina, who will line-up as part of a strong group of climbers for the four-stage race which features plenty of hills and a summit finish on stage three

Celano will now be out of action for a number of days, not only to let the swelling die down, but also because he has to spend at least eight days out of competition if he is treated with cortisone as the Caja Rural is a member of voluntary anti-doping organisation the MPCC.

Sander Armée rides with a swollen face during the opening time trial of the Giro d’Italia (Credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

Celano is not the only rider to suffer from nasty insect stings this year, with Sander Armée having to suffer through the first few stages of the Giro d’Italia with a puffed up face after being stung by a wasp before the team presentation in Jerusalem.

Riding for Lotto-Soudal, which is also a member of the MPCC, Armée could also not receive treatment with cortisone without having to leave the race, but was able to battle through and ended up being able to make it all the way to the end of the race in Rome.