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 judgement 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 stones. 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 year.