Dutch rider Robbert de Greef has been placed into an artificial coma after suffering a heart attack during the Omloop van de Braakman this weekend. He will be held in the artificial coma for 48 hours, by which point doctors hope that the 27-year-old will be strong enough to begin follow-up treatment.
De Greef, who rides for the Continental level Alecto Cycling Team, was on the first cobblestone sector of the Omloop van de Braakman just 15 kilometres into the race when he suffered the heart attack. The emergency services attended to him at the roadside before he was transferred to hospital in Antwerp. The race was subsequently cancelled.
“Yesterday, something we hoped that would never happen, became reality: one of our riders had a heart attack,” the Alecto team wrote on their website on Sunday. “During the first kilometres of the Omloop van de Braakman, Robbert de Greef became unwell and they performed CPR on him for hours. He was taken to the Hospital in Antwerp by ambulance.
“Robbert is currently fighting for his life and therefore we ask you to respect his and his family’s privacy. All our thoughts are with Robbert, his girlfriend, family and friends.”
De Greef rode for the Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij Pro Continental team last season but did not get a contract for a second season following their merger with the Belgian Veranda’s Willems-Crelan squad over the winter. Earlier this month, De Greef finished second place at the 1.HC Ronde van Drenthe, finishing three seconds behind the winner Pim Ligthart.