Robert Gesink is recovering from surgery for his heart problem quicker than originally expected, and will be attending a Team Belkin altitude training camp in the Sierra Nevada this week, “to see if a Tour de France participation is wise.” Even if he doesn't make the Tour team, he is definitely scheduled to ride the Vuelta a Espana, starting the end of August.
Earlier this month Gesink underwent surgery for cardiac arrhythmia. The procedure turned out to be “something different than expected . They could solve it immediately,” he told nu.nl. “It is a huge windfall that it is so. Otherwise I would need another operation and then have to take medication which would keep me out of racing for months.”
Gesink was back on his bike within a week after the procedure, and has ridden up to six hours, including some climbs in the German Eifel.
Gesink heads to the Sierra Nevada today “for altitude training with, among others, Bauke Mollema and Steven Kruijswijk. The first week I just want to cycle along, and the idea is that I 'm going to see if a Tour participation is wise during the second week."
As for his return to racing, Gesink is eying the Ster ZLM Toer, June 18-22. “The Dauphiné and Tour de Suisse would be asking too much. The Ster ZLM Toer would be a nice intermediate step.” After that he expects to ride the Dutch Championships the end of June, with the Tour starting a week later, on July 5.
He is a “certainty” to ride the Vuelta, Belkin sport director Nico Verhoeven told hln.be. “However, things must go extremely well for the Tour to be a possibility. Normally he would not be there, but we still keep the door ajar.”