Exhausted Fabio Aru seeking redemption at Vuelta a España after disastrous Giro d'Italia

The Italian champion will not return at the Tour de France after suffering through the Giro d'Italia

Fabio Aru struggles up the Monte Zoncolan during the 2018 Giro d'Italia (Sunada)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates) will skip the Tour de France after abandoning the Giro d'Italia empty, aiming instead for the Vuelta a España later this summer.

The Italian champion began the Giro d'Italia in May as a favourite but never showed the form that had won him the 2015 Vuelta a España or that allowed him to win a stage and wear the yellow jersey in the 2017 Tour de France.

>>> Tour de France 2018 start list

And even with that joy of wearing the famous maillot jaune in 2017, he cannot return in 2018.

"I thought about it, because I have a great desire to redeem myself immediately, but I came out of the Giro in disastrous physical conditions," Aru told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"It's better to rest and start again for the final part of the year. 2018 is not finished, I still have the Vuelta, the Worlds, the Italian Classics, Lombardia. I can still prove myself."

He will also not defend his national title this Saturday at the road championships.

Aru last raced the 19th stage of the Giro d'Italia, the same day Chris Froome (Sky) cracked previous race leader Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) to ride away solo for the stage win and pink jersey.

Aru will restart with the Tour de Wallonia on July 28. After that, the Tour of Poland before beginning in the Vuelta a España on August 25.

"In the last part of the Giro, I felt completely empty, bloated, without strength. I was never good. When your body does not work well, you can put all your mental strength into it, but you can't go forward," he continued.

"We decided to change some things. I had so much altitude training, the three camps turned out too many. This training demolished me, and my body asked me for the bill. I arrived at the Giro almost finished.

"I learned that I have to race more, not for the results, but to face different races from my characteristics, to get that racing feeling."

Aru sat through several exams after the Giro. He said that he is not gluten intolerant, but his body does not absorb pasta and carbohydrates well and so limited their intake and eliminated dairy products.

"But it was not only the cause of my performance. Throughout the spring, I never felt good," Aru added. "I have always pushed to get into form, and that led me to overdo it."

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Gregor Brown

Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.