Two-time former Giro d’Italia champion Ivan Basso (Tinkoff-Saxo) has withdrawn from the Tour de France after discovering he has testicular cancer.
The veteran Italian, 37, was an important part of Alberto Contador’s support team during his Giro d’Italia victory and was set to chaperone the Spaniard in the mountains when racing resumed after the rest day.
But Basso, sat alongside a tearful Contador at the team’s rest day press conference, announced he will be leaving the race immediately.
The condition was discovered after Basso complained of pain following an injury he suffered during a crash on stage five, and he was accompanied to a hospital in Pau during the morning of the rest day.
— Alberto Contador (@albertocontador) July 13, 2015
In a short speech to the press, Basso said: “Normally I would not be here, but unfortunately I have a bad announcement.
“For a few days [after the crash] I have felt pain and, after talking to the Tour de France doctor yesterday, we went for a special analysis in the hospital today.
“The examination has shown bad news. I have a small cancer in the left testicle.
“That’s easy to understand. I have to stop and go back to Italy, where our doctor is already in contact with specialists.”
Contador led the well-wishes to his team-mate, taking to Twitter immediately after the announcement to wish Basso the best with his recovery, with the team vowing to meet him in Paris with the yellow jersey secured.