Adrie van der Poel and Jan Raas.

Cardiac evaluations for Ulissi and Viviani: Daily News Digest

As we cross over the midpoint of the week, the cycling headlines include news of two separate Italian pros both undergoing medical checks for cardiac issues, among other news items.

Don’t miss out on the latest CyclingTips updates.

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Hello again, CyclingTips readers,

As we cross over the midpoint of the week, the cycling headlines include news of two separate Italian pros both undergoing medical checks for cardiac issues, among other news items.

Read on for the latest from the world of cycling.

Dane Cash
News Editor

What’s news?

Elia Viviani reportedly undergoes procedure for cardiac issue

Elia Viviani left Cofidis’s training camp this week to undergo medical evaluations after experiencing cardiac anomalies while riding. As TuttoBiciWeb reports, the 31-year-old Italian said the issue has been “solved” following an ablation.

Vivani explained that his heart rate jumped up to 220 beats per minute for a brief period during a training ride on Sunday. He went to a hospital in Italy on Monday and underwent cardiac evaluations. Doctors were able to replicate the issue, and then performed an ablation, which appears to have resolved the problem.

“Now I’m fine, the problem is solved, I have a chip under my left collarbone that records the activity of my heart: I’m optimistic, I want to get back on the bike soon,” Viviani said, according to TuttoBiciWeb. “There is talk of a recovery in 15 days, tomorrow I’ll go home to Montecarlo, in the next few days we will see to understand when and how to start working again.”

Diego Ulissi optimistic after cardiac tests

As it turns out, Elia Viviani is not the only Italian pro who has undergone cardiac evaluations recently. UAE-Team Emirates said on Wednesday that, following a “cardiac check-up,” Diego Ulissi “received positive news” and is expected to leave the hospital Thursday.

In a press release, the UAE team said that he “underwent an intracardiac ultrasound at the Riuniti Hospital in Ancona, Italy which confirmed a fibrosis of the left posterolateral wall of the heart, the same already reported in the magnetic resonance. These lesions were found to be very stable and long standing because, despite the electrical and pharmacological stimulation, no arrhythmias have been recorded.”

Ulissi is now awaiting the results of biopsy analyses. UAE characterized the current outlook as “generally positive.”

Grand Tour organizers reportedly request additional wild card invites

The ASO, which owns the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España, and RCS, which owns the Giro d’Italia, have requested the ability to invite an additional wild card team to their Grand Tours, TuttoBiciWeb reports.

Current regulations allow for 22 teams at each of the three three-week races. With 19 WorldTour teams and an automatic invite for Alpecin-Fenix, last year’s top-ranked ProTeam, that leaves only two spots left for wildcard invites at the Grand Tours. As such, organizers have to make tough decisions about which second-division squads to invite, particularly with four ProTeams from each of the three home countries but only two openings in each of the three races.

According to TuttoBiciWeb, the UCI is considering the request and planning to make a decision by some time in February.

Red Bull sponsors Justin Williams

Justin Williams has joined the handful of cyclists with individual sponsorships from Red Bull. The L39ION of Los Angeles co-founder posted a photo of himself wearing a helmet with Red Bull branding on Instagram on Wednesday.

“I usually have something inspiring or witty to say but today I’m just grateful,” Williams wrote. “Through all the set backs that come on one’s journey, moments like these are why YOU can not give up…”

Emily Batty signs with Canyon

Emily Batty has signed a deal with Canyon after a lengthy stint with Trek. The four-time Canadian national mountain bike champion said via a Canyon press release that she was looking ahead to some major targets this season with her new team.

“Last season, everything was so unknown, and I didn’t want to waste valuable mental and physical capacity in 2020 without knowing races were for sure happening,” Batty said. “So, while my performances could have been way better, I feel like I’m going into 2021 more hungry, rested, and motivated than most of my competitors. And now, I have some huge goals I’m very excited about: I have Olympics, World Championships, and World Cup goals. I want to go big on the performance side of things this year.”

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