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Cañada battling cancer

Spanish rider David Cañada is the latest professional rider fending off a brush with melanoma, but his case has taken a turn for the worse. While riders such Magnus Backstedt and world time trial champion Amber Neben caught the aggressive form of skin cancer in its early stages, the Fuji-Servetto rider is being forced to postpone his 2009 debut after undergoing more aggressive treatment.

Spanish rider David Cañada is the latest professional rider fending off a brush with melanoma, but his case has taken a turn for the worse.

While riders such Magnus Backstedt and world time trial champion Amber Neben caught the aggressive form of skin cancer in its early stages, the Fuji-Servetto rider is being forced to postpone his 2009 debut after undergoing more aggressive treatment.

Officials from his team announced Wednesday that the 33-year-old is undergoing treatment for cancer, which has spread to glands under his left arm. The 2006 Volta a Catalunya winner had a tumor removed in 2007, but doctors have discovered it has metastasized.

“I’m feeling encouraged and I’m very eager to return to professional cycling if it’s possible,” he said in a team release. “I don’t want to say goodbye to pro cycling in this way, but it’s obvious that my main goal right now is totally recover.

“I’ve already gone through the hardest part of the treatment and I’m feeling pretty good physically. The prospects of a return look good and the support from the team has been tremendous, without any pressure.”

Cañada has scheduled a press conference Thursday to further discuss his condition.