Former UCI time trial world champion Vasil Kiryienka has been diagnosed with a cardiac anomaly and is currently undergoing treatment for the condition, according to a statement released today by Team Sky.
The 37-year-old from Belarus has yet to race this season, competing most recently at the world championships in September. Possible reasons for his absence from the Team Sky lineup so far this year had become cause for speculation before Team Sky made today's announcement.
In a post on the team's website, Team Sky doctor Iñigo Sarriegui said the anomaly was detected during a yearly screening.
“All of our riders have a cardiac screening every year, and in Kiry’s screening we found an anomaly that required further investigation," Sarriegui said. “Following tests, Kiry is currently undergoing treatment and he will remain sidelined until further notice.”
The team did not say when Kiryienka is expected to return to the peloton. Team Sky coach Xabier Artetxe said medical staff will continue to monitor Kiryienka before he returns to racing.
“The doctors have told us to take caution for a period before Kiry resumes racing," he said. “He is still in this period now, so the doctors are looking after him and are monitoring his progress. We need to ensure Kiry is back to 100 per cent before he returns to racing.”
Aside form his time trialing abilities, which brought him the rainbow jersey in Richmond at the 2015 world championships, Kiryienka is a Team Sky workhorse on the front of the peloton, driving the pace kilometre after kilometre when the team needs him. He first joined the team in 2013 after riding with Movistar for two years. He started his professional career in 2004 with Grupa PSB, a Polish Continental team.