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Colbrelli cleared to get back on bike as heart condition improves

Italian Sonny Colbrelli Bahrain Victorious
Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious) (Image credit: Getty Images)

Sonny Colbrelli continues to recovery after his near-fatal cardiac arrest at the finish of stage 1 of the 2022 Volta a Catalunya and will soon be able to begin leisure riding and light physical activities, his team says.

After a spell in hospitals in Girona and Italy, it was confirmed that Colbrelli, 31, had suffered an unstable cardiac arrhythmia that required defibrillation. The Italian needed emergency attention at the opening stage  of Volta a Catalunya, where he finished second in the uphill sprint at San Feliu des Guixols, but then collapsed before being taken away by ambulance.

During time in an Italian hospital in Padova,  Colbrelli was fitted with a subcutaneous defibrillator inserted below his collarbone, the device ready to reset his heart if he suffers another sudden cardiac arrest. He has since then has been receiving regular checkups at the Sports Cardiology Unit in the University of Padua.

Colbrellio has been spending time with his family at home near Brescia but recently visited shoe sponsor Sidi and on Tuesday was an ambassador for the Giro d'Italia as the winner's trophy was taken from Milan to Verona. 

According to his Bahrain Victorious squad, latest clinical examinations continue to show improvement  in his cardiovascular health. 

The former Paris-Roubaix and European road champion was initially optimistic about his chances of returning to racing, but following the confirmation of his heart condition, he and doctors are far more cautious.

"The clinical examinations have shown further improvement of cardiovascular health, clearing Colbrelli to start taking up leisure rides and light physical activity," the Bahrain Victorious team said.

"The priority remains to continually monitor his condition with a close follow up in the coming months to secure his safety and resumption of regular life activities."

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Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 bar one, as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. As well as working for Cyclingnews, he has also written for The IndependentThe GuardianProCycling, The Express and Reuters.