Ivan Basso deciding future after cancer surgery

Double Giro d'Italia winner Ivan Basso pondering his future in pro cycling after successful cancer surgery

Ivan Basso before the start of Stage 4 of the 2015 Tirreno-Adriatico
(Image credit: Watson)

Italian Ivan Basso, the 2006 and 2010 Giro d'Italia winner, is deciding whether he will return to racing after being diagnosed with cancer during the Tour de France last month.

Basso left the Tour after doctors discovered a cancerous tumour in his left testicle. He had successful surgery to remove it back home in Milan, but is waiting for the results of further checks to decide his future.

He has another check today. "Because the controls are continuous," Basso told Italian paper La Gazzetta dello Sport. "The decisive one will be in September."

The 37-year-old from Varese won the Giro twice and placed second in the Tour de France in 2005. He also served a doping ban for working with Eufemiano Fuentes, the doping doctor at the centre of the Operación Puerto scandal.

Oleg Tinkov and Ivan Basso at the Tinkoff-Saxo training in Gran Canarias

Tinkoff-Saxo owner Oleg Tinkov (left) and Ivan Basso at the team's training camp in Gran Canaria
(Image credit: Watson)

He could retire and work as a trainer or sports director with current team Tinkoff-Saxo or continue racing. He has one more year, 2016, left in his contract with the Russian/Danish WorldTeam.

"I'm interested in riding again, that's the number one objective because if you do this for 30 years you need to get back on the bike," Basso said.

"I'll decide further ahead because it's clear that a reflection needs to be made. I'm lucky to discover something that could have become enormous."

>>> Ivan Basso undergoes successful cancer surgery

Basso crashed in the Tour's fifth stage to Amiens. He felt something wrong and had the doctors examine him. They recommended a further control in Pau on the rest day, after nine days of racing. He announced that afternoon at a press conference alongside team-mate Alberto Contador that they found a cancerous tumour and that he would leave the Tour to travel home.

He explained that the tumour was isolated and did not enter other parts of his body and that he would not need further operations.

Other athletes have returned to racing after cancer, including now disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong and Spaniard Markel Irizar, who still races for Trek Factory Racing.

Video: Secrets of the toolbox - Tinkoff-Saxo

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Gregor Brown

Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.