Cycling star Ivan Basso quits Tour de France following testicular cancer diagnosis
Ivan Basso has withdrawn from the Tour de France after being diagnosed with testicular cancer.
Basso was a key member of Alberto Contador's Tinkoff-Saxo squad, but will return home to Italy on Monday's first rest day.
The 37-year-old said: "Unfortunately I have a bad announcement. I have a small cancer in my left testicle, so you can understand that I have to go back to Italy. We discovered this just two hours ago."
Basso has twice won the Giro d'Italia and revealed the diagnosis followed a crash on stage five, after which he felt pain after catching his testicle on his saddle.
He will travel to Italy to undergo surgery as soon as possible.
Contador said on cyclingnews.com: "We never imagined a thing like this, but now the first thing is to support Ivan and to hope everything will be resolved as soon as possible.
"I'm here just to give Ivan the full support of the team."
Lance Armstrong returned from testicular cancer to win a record seven Tours, but subsequently had them stripped for doping.
Armstrong wrote on Twitter: "Thinking about @ivanbasso and wishing him the very best as he embarks on his cancer journey. #IvanSTRONG!!"
Armstrong will ride stages 13 and 14 this week alongside Geoff Thomas, raising money for Cure Leukaemia.