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by Shane Stokes
December 13, 2017
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Past Tour de France and Giro d’Italia stage winner Ramunas Navardauskas has been given a green light to return to full training, and will be able to resume racing next season. The Lithuanian had been diagnosed with a heart rhythm issue, or cardiac arrhythmia, in June, and underwent an operation to address this at the start of September.
A little over three months later, he’s received the all clear. “After the ablation treatment done in Munich last September, Ramunas Navardauskas obtained the physical fitness for complete training and racing in Turin on 2nd December,” said Bahrain-Merida doctor Carlo Guardascione. “During the cardiology tests in Turin, no arrhythmia or heart problem occurred, so there will be no special therapy. He is 100% capable of training with his teammates.”
The 29-year-old rider has undergone a number of medical checks since his operation and joined the team at their camp in Hvar, Croatia. He has already been doing training at a low intensity, and is keen to knuckle down to harder preparation after getting the all-clear.
“I am thankful for the support from my team and the medical staff because without it, the situation would have been very different,” he said. “I’m back on the bike now and I’m happy with where I am. I just need to wait for the first race, to see how my form is and how my legs are turning. It’s hard to predict how it’s going to be in the future, but maybe now I’ve had a long break, I can use this rest period cleverly, and I’ll come back even more competitive.”
Head director sportif Gorazd Štangelj has confirmed that Navardauskas’ green light from the doctors means that he will be considered for selection for January’s Santos Tour Down Under.