Russian-born Classics legend Andrei Tchmil revealed this week that he has undergone surgery to remove a cancerous tumour.
"Dear friends, 20 years ago I won the race of my dreams. Now, twenty years on, I had to fight another opponent, who seemed unbeatable, who silently eats you up inside: cancer.
"A thousand thanks to Professor Gianluca Baiocchi and his team of doctors from Brescia, for the surgery they gave me, for the help and the great support I had. Life is a continuous race."
Tchmil was born in Russia but has competed under the flag of Ukraine and Moldova before gaining Belgian citizenship. He retired to Italy in 2002 before being appointed minister of sport for Moldova.
He also served as manager of the Katusha team until 2012.