(BEIJING, August 7) -- Four cyclists have been scratched last-minute from their respective teams ahead of Saturday's Men's Cycling Road Race.
Damiano Cunego of Italy, the 2004 winner of the Giro d'Italia, did not fully recover from injuries sustained in a fall that forced his early departure from the 2008 Tour de France in July. Italian Vicenzo Nibali will start in his place.
Sergio Paulinho of Portugal, who won the silver medal in the Athens 2004 Olympic Games Cycling Road Race, was not in good enough shape to compete in Beijing 2008, the Portuguese federation announced. No replacement has been named.
Vladimir Gusev was removed from the Russian Olympic squad after he was fired by his professional team, Astana.
Gusev was replaced by two-time Tour of Spain winner Denis Menchov, who will race both the Men's Cycling Road Race and the Men's Individual Time Trial.
Michael Albasini of Switzerland crashed during training Tuesday and fractured his left collarbone. Swiss officials said there was not enough time to find a replacement rider.