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Fearless Roulston wins NZ road championship despite heart condition

At the 2006 Comm Games

At the 2006 Comm Games (Image credit: Tour of Japan)

In our First Edition Cycling News for August 31, 2006, Cyclingnews reported that Health Net/Maxxis pro rider Hayden Roulston retired from cycling because of a heart condition. The 25-year-old had been diagnosed with arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD), which leaves him sometimes short of breath when resting, according to the New Zealand Herald. The condition can be fatal for sufferers under stress.

"This is the worst news anyone could ever get," Roulston told One News at the time. "Being told they can't do what they love, especially for me. It's all I know." Roulston said he hoped to stay in cycling, and was considering a career in coaching, but his dream or representing New Zealand at the 2008 Olympics was shattered. "All I wanted to do was go through to Beijing, 100 per cent, and now I can't do it. It's a huge shock," he said.

Apparantly, Roulston, who won the 2006 New Zealand National Championship road race on Sunday, is convinced he is completely cured. He said in an interview on Auckland News Talk 89.4 that he has used an alternative-medicine treatment method called Reiki and that the irregular heartbeat is totally gone now and he has no trouble at all.

See also: A 2004 interview with Hayden Roulston

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