Basso retires from professional cycling
MILAN (AP) Two-time Giro d'Italia winner Ivan Basso is retiring from professional cycling after recovering from cancer.
Basso, who was expected to resume his career after being cleared following treatment, said at the 2016 Giro route presentation on Monday that he would instead take a managerial role within his Tinkoff-Saxo team.
''Every athlete knows that his light will not shine bright throughout his career. Inevitably, at some stage it will start dimming and it's the sign of a wise athlete to know when the moment has come to turn it off,'' the 37-year-old Italian said.
Basso was diagnosed with testicular cancer at the Tour de France in July after crashing during the fifth stage. He underwent successful surgery and returned to training in August.
Basso, who finished second to Lance Armstrong in the 2005 Tour, was forced out before the start of the world's premier cycle race the year after because of blood doping suspicions. The Italian ultimately confirmed his blood was among the frozen blood samples found in Spain as part of the Operation Puerto doping investigation and was subsequently suspended for two years.
He returned to competition with the Liquigas team at the end of the 2008 season and won the Giro for the second time in 2010. His first win came in 2006.
This year, he helped Alberto Contador claim a second Giro win. He said being diagnosed with cancer influenced his decision to retire, although he had thought about calling it quits even before.
''I could have continued racing but I wouldn't be competitive,'' he said. ''I could take part in a race but then struggle to finish. There is no point in letting my fans down and when adrenaline is replaced by fear then it's time to change.''