Veteran Belgian rider Mario Aerts is back in serious training and may return to racing at the Belgian national championships on June 26.
The 36 year-old Omega Pharma-Lotto rider was forced to stop racing in April after a long-standing cardiac arrhythmia problem worsened while making maximal efforts. He considered undergoing minor heart surgery to correct the problem but doctors decided the non-dangerous extrasystoles were too close to the heart to risk eliminating them.
"The arrhythmia is still there, but I feel a slight improvement," he told Het Laatste Nieuws. "That makes sense because spontaneous healing is rare."
"I'm not worried anymore. The doctors have assured me that the situation is not life threatening. As a result, the problem has eased."
Aerts is not expected to regain full fitness in time for the Tour de France but may soon return to racing.
"For now, I have only trained. We’ve yet to decide on when I’ll race again but it could be at the Belgian Championship in in Hooglede-Gits on June 26," he said.