Eight months after undergoing surgery to correct a heart arrhythmia, BMC Racing Team rider Klaas Lodewyck has been forced to shelve his plans to compete in the Giro d’Italia.
The Belgian rider was first sidelined last August due to the rhythm problems, and underwent surgery in September. He returned to racing in February’s Dubai Tour but fractured his collarbone there.
He returned to competition in March and rode a number of other events, including the Handzame Classic – where he was a fine sixth – the Dwars door Vlaanderen and the Tour of Flanders.
After netting a solid 42nd in the Tour de Yorkshire, he was due to line out in the Giro d’Italia. However those plans went awry after routine testing in Belgium on Wednesday.
“Based on the findings, he was recommended by his treating cardiologist to hold off on participating in competitions that are three weeks long,” stated the BMC Racing Team’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Max Testa.
“Klaas will be re-tested after a three-week period of relative rest, during which he will be allowed to train at mild to moderate intensity. Then he will be re-evaluated and decisions on his return to competition will be made.
“The BMC medical staff is in full agreement with the decision and supportive of the plan that is in Klaas’s best interests.”
Lodewyck was blindsided by the development. “This came to me as a big surprise,” he admitted.
“I am super, super disappointed. Everything went so well in England (at the Tour de Yorkshire). Day-by-day I was getting stronger, which made me think I could do a good Giro.”
His team-mate Amael Moinard was given a late call-up for the race, being informed of his unexpected Giro slot whilst on holidays in France.
He expects to take time to settle in. “It is going to be a bit hard the first days for me for sure,” he stated.
“But I will try to look for some good opportunities on some stages. I hope I have the chance to make a nice result.”
He competed in the race twice before, finishing 112th in 2006 and 46th in 2007.
His best Grand Tour finish was 15th in the 2008 Tour de France; last year he was 56th in the same race.