Lodewyck to have surgery for heart arrhythmia

BMC’s Klaas Lodewyck will undergo surgery to fix his heart arrhythmia. As taking medication to manage his condition would result in his forced retirement, Lodewyck has opted to go under the knife.

"Apparently surgery is my only chance to head back to level," Lodewyck told Sporza.

The Belgian rider attended Zeikenhuis University hospital in Brussels on Monday and Tuesday for a series of tests. Lodewyck turned professional in 2009 with Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator and has been part of the BMC team since 2012. He hasn’t raced since the Tour de Wallonie at the end of July, after he was sidelined by the team earlier this month, and hopes that this disruption to his career will be a brief one.

“I want them to operate as soon as possible, preferably this week, so I’ve got this terrible period behind me quickly,” said Lodewyck. “I had hoped that the solution would be something simpler, like the surgery for Nick Nuyens, but apparently the cause of my arrhythmia is a little more complicated. It’s a pity that there is not a 100 per cent success rate.”

Lodewyck is just one of a number of riders that has been forced to take a break from racing or call it quits entirely due to hear problems. Lotto-Belisol lead-out man Olivier Kaisen was forced to retire after the Tour Down Under, while former cyclo-cross world champion Niels Albert made a tearful goodbye to the sport in may. Robert Gesink and Nick Nuyens were more fortunate, as both have been able to return to racing – with Nuyens making his come back just a week after having surgery.

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