Cofidis rider re-invigorated after heart problems in 2010
Nicolas Vogondy will start the Presidential Tour of Turkey on Sunday as team leader of Cofidis, with ambitions to win one of the eight stages and gain a podium spot in the general classification.
His 2010 season started badly, when he was diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmia, and he was initially refused a racing licence because of his health issues. But the enforced time away from racing has made the 33-year-old Frenchman re-connect with his love of the sport.
“I’ve had a hard time”, Vogondy said. “For three months, until I was allowed to race again, I realised how much I love this sport. I got the green light in March 2010. Every year I have to undergo tests to check if everything is fine, but now I’m more focused on my cycling than I was before. I love my job even more now.”
He was able to return to racing in April 2010, and won a stage at the Critérium du Dauphiné and the French National Time Trial Champion’s jersey. Entering his fifteenth season as a professional cyclist, he’s looking forward to the challenge of a race that will be new to him.
Last year David Moncoutié finished third overall in the Tour of Turkey for Cofidis, behind Tejay Van Garderen and race winner Giovanni Visconti, and although Moncoutié will be riding Liège-Bastogne-Liège rather than Turkey this year, he’s shared his enthusiasm for the Tour with his teammate.
“David told me a lot about the Tour of Turkey”, Vogondy said. “He hesitated a lot until he decided to not come back this year. He told me that he appreciated this race, the good organisation, the nice weather, the great landscapes, the comfortable hotels for the teams and the whole atmosphere of the event.
“For the good of the Cofidis team, he opted for racing Liège but it’s a big regret for him not to be able to return to Turkey. In my mind, Turkey was a place for holidays but since David told me about it, it’s a cycling destination that I want to discover.”
The Cofidis team for the Presidential Tour of Turkey: Yoann Bagot (Fra), Nicolas Edet (Fra), Julien Fouchard (Fra), Kevin Ista (Bel), Damien Monier (Fra), Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) and Romain Zingle (Bel).
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