With­drawal

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS -

Stun­ning the Tour de France on its first rest day, doc­tors di­ag­nosed a tu­mour in the left tes­ti­cle of two-time Giro d’Italia win­ner Ivan Basso on Mon­day, forc­ing him out of the show­case race. His for­mer ri­val Lance Armstrong, who sur­vived tes­tic­u­lar can­cer that spread to his lungs and brain, im­me­di­ately tweeted his sup­port. At age 37, Basso wasn’t a con­tender to win the race, but his ex­pe­ri­ence and pedi­gree – Basso fin­ished sec­ond at the 2005 Tour and third in 2004 – meant his with­drawal was keenly felt by his team leader Al­berto Con­ta­dor. The 2007 and 2009 cham­pion must now tackle the most ar­du­ous two weeks of the Tour, with decisive climbs in the Pyre­nees and Alps, with­out the as­sis­tance and moral sup­port of his vet­eran team­mate and train­ing part­ner. A vis­i­bly shaken Basso ap­peared with Con­ta­dor at a news con­fer­ence and an­nounced doc­tors di­ag­nosed a tu­mour in his left tes­ti­cle that had been painful since he crashed on Stage 5. But his Tinkoff-Saxo team said more tests are needed to be cer­tain the tu­mour is can­cer­ous.

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