Kim Kirchen wants to come back to pro cycling next year despite suffering a heart attack at the Tour de Suisse in June. The Katusha rider made his first public appearance after awakening from a medically induced coma and coming out of hospital on July 8, attending the presentation of the Tour de France Gala criterium earlier this week.
While the exact causes of his heart failure are still unknown, Kirchen hopes that he will be able to ride a bike again soon. "We have to wait and see," he told the Wort newspaper. "The healing process can take weeks or months. I will definitely not participate in any race this year. But I do hope to be able to race again next year."
Thrombosis and cardiac arrhythmia being excluded from Kirchen's diagnosis, doctors are currently checking if it is a genetic problem.
For now, the former national champion and Tour de France stage winner is slowly rehabilitating. "I'm doing well, even though I get tired quickly and can't even think about doing sport right now. But it's getting better every day," the 32-year-old added.
Kirchen's fatigue is further increased by a lack of sleep any parent of twins can certainly comprehend. "I have to get up two or three times every night to change nappies, but I like to do it," said the happy father of Liam and Mika. The two baby boys that were born on the day he was given the green light to return home from hospital.