Paris, July 14 (IANS) Team Tinkoff-Saxo’s Italian rider Ivan Basso has said he’s diagnosed with testicular cancer and has withdrawn from the Tour de France.
The 37-year-old two-time Giro d’Italia winner, joining Tinkoff-Saxo at the start of the 2015 season, kept feeling pain in his left testicle after a clash in the fifth stage on Wednesday when he hit it on the saddle and a later scan found tumor cells, reports Xinhua.
“We discovered this two hours ago, I have to stop,” said Basso on Monday, revealing that he’ll leave the Tour to undergo surgery in Italy.
Basso, who helped Alberto Contador to Giro victory in May, was sharing a room with the Spaniard at the Tour. His departure is a blow to the team professionally as well as to Contador personally.
“It’s a very tough blow to the whole team, we never imagined a day like this,” said Contador who put his arm around Basso at the press conference. “Ivan and I have spent 120 of the past 180 days together.”
“You can be sure that we’ll fight for the yellow jersey to bring him the title to him and to celebrate together in Paris.”
Basso won the Giro d’ Italia in 2006 and 2010, while having achieved two Tour de France podium places.