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by Shane Stokes
September 26, 2017
Matthews: ‘I think I wasted a lot of energy’; Amphetamines seized during inquiry into Rumsas’ son’s death; Herrera blames cycling career for skin cancer; Gogl extends with Trek-Segafredo, Naesen Jr signs with Lotto-Soudal; Small retires and transitions into DS role for Team Virtu Cycling; Wiggle High 5 extends contracts of Longo Borghini and Cordon-Ragot; Knol announces her retirement from professional cycling; Kennedy and Davids take Battle Recharge; Giro’s Israel start generates debate; Video: Helicopter view of last four kilometres of 2017 UCI Road World Championships; Video: Peter Sagan after world championship victory; Video: Martyn Ashton Rides Whistler
The 1985 Tour de France King of the Mountains Luis ‘Lucho’ Herrera has said that he has developed skin cancer as a result of his cycling career. The 56-year-old Colombian told the Testigo Directo direct programme – via Blu Radio – that he went to a dermatologist after determining that a big spot on his arm and another on his face ‘were not normal.’
“I already had a lot of spots on my hands, in my face,” the 1987 Vuelta a España winner explained, noting the extreme heat that riders are exposed to when racing. “I saw some stains like with a high relief, that’s what I noticed. So the doctor has been burning me, cauterizing me [to remove the tumours].” He added that his hands are ‘like granite’ and that this too is symptomatic of the skin cancer.
The skin specialist concerned explained that the rider had a basal cell carcinoma, and that his treatment will be ongoing. “He must follow a treatment because for his own chronic solar damage that has the lesions come back and appear. And [he must] occasionally also have sessions of cryotherapy, which is to freeze the lesions.”
Another former pro, Magnus Backstedt, contracted skin cancer during his career due to the sun’s rays penetrating his jersey. The use of strong sun cream is recommended to all those exposed to the sun, including cyclists.
Herrera’s other career successes include three stages in the Tour de France, King of the Mountains awards in the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España, plus stages in each. He also won the Critérium du Dauphiné twice, plus four editions each of the Vuelta a Colombia and the Clásico RCN.