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by Mark Zalewski
December 20, 2016
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Brailsford finally discloses nature of 2011 Sky mystery package for Wiggins, yet questions linger; Zwift Academy rider Leah Thorvilson wins Canyon-SRAM contract; Elite racer turned orthopedic surgeon to conduct extensive concussion and injury study among pro, amateur cyclists; Vansummeren on life after racing; Funvic Soul Cycles-Carrefour team suspended for multiple doping positives; MPCC sponsors call for additional commitment to fighting other kinds of cheating; American Owen to skip cyclocross to focus on road; Young Aussie champion Alex Morgan steps away from cycling; Team Sky dines on Norwegian salmon prize at camp; Backlash over New Zealand brewery’s ad promotion with Lance Armstrong; British track sprinter Williamson to return after serious crash; Documentary: ‘From the South UP.’
2011 Paris-Roubaix champion Johan Vansummeren was forced to retire from the sport well before he was ready to, due to a heart condition. He spoke with Belgian broadcaster Sporza about learning of the diagnosis that would end his career and how he is dealing with life after racing.
“The worst was after my second heart operation,” he said. “I had an exercise test in Hasselt. I had a good hope, but also knew it was all or nothing. During the test I saw the faces of the doctors show that it was not good. Then my world collapsed.”
Despite his retirement at a young age, he said he is still satisfied with what he accomplished in a relatively short time. “I do not think I can complain about my career. There are riders who have demonstrated more than I, but also less. I’m satisfied.”
The Belgian said he hopes to one day become a sport director with a team, and has gone so far as to take the UCI course for it, paying out of his own pocket. But calls to teams have not yet turned up a position.
In the mean time he does still ride a bike, albeit much more slowly, with one eye always on his heart rate monitor and with the aid of beta blockers.
Click through to read more at Sporza.