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Elia Viviani returns to training after cardiac surgery

Team Cofidis rider Italys Elia Viviani looks on prior the start of the 10th stage of the Giro dItalia 2020 cycling race a 177kilometer route between Lanciano and Tortoreto on October 13 2020 Photo by Luca Bettini AFP Photo by LUCA BETTINIAFP via Getty Images
Elia Viviani (Cofidis) at the 2020 GIro d'Italia (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Cofidis sprinter Elia Viviani has returned to training, joining his teammates at a training camp in Almería, southern Spain.

The Italian has been off the bike for three weeks since noticing an anomaly in his heart rate during a training ride last month. He had just returned from another camp in Benidorm and was training near Verona when he was sent to hospital to undergo cardiological examinations.

Viviani posted an update to Instagram, showing himself training back out on the road with his teammates. "B A C K to training #happyday," he captioned his post.

After discovering his heart rate anomaly, Viviani contacted his team doctor from Liquigas, Roberto Corsetti, who referred the sprinter to the Riuniti hospital in Ancona. He then underwent atrial ablation surgery to treat a cardiac arrhythmia, forcing him off the bike until this week.

"I had come back from the training camp in Benidorm and on Sunday I was training in the hills on my roads around Verona," Viviani said in January before his surgery.

"It was classic strength-resistance work at 140-150 beats per minute when I felt palpitations and my heart rate went up really quickly, above 220 beats per minute in about 20 seconds.

"I can’t tell you want went through my head in those moments – why it happened, what could have happened… I’d never ever had something like that."

Viviani is set to make his 2021 debut at the UAE Tour, which runs from February 21-27. Speaking in January, the 31-year-old expressed confidence that his racing plans would remain unchanged, despite the surgery and time off the bike.

"I can tell you that my programme remains the same, starting with the UAE Tour, then Tirreno-Adriatico and the Classics. My condition was good before this stop, so I’m calm and also determined to have the season of redemption that I need," he said.