Lotto Belisol is medically ready for the coming season, as the results of the obligatory UCI medical check-up have shown that “all our riders are fit,” the team said Friday. The tests focus on detecting cardiac problems.
The UCI has required the tests for more than ten years, team doctor Jan Mathieu said. “It's logical to limit as much as possible fatal heart failures in sport. All riders have to take three tests. A normal cardiogram in rest, an exertion test in combination with an electrocardiogram and an ultrasound of the heart, to examine among other things the functioning of the cardiac muscle and the cardiac valves."
The team doesn't stop there, though. They also measure the riders' oxygen level, “an accurate way to determine the VO2max (maximal oxygen consumption), possible abnormalities can be further examined by taking a scan. Apart from that we let all our riders take a Holter monitoring during our training camp. During the night and during the training they are monitored 24 hours, so we can see for example if their heart isn't beating extremely low when they are asleep. The UCI tests have showed that all our riders are fit."
Jürgen Roelandts now knows that his broken collarbone is healed and that his heart is healthy as well. “On the one hand it is of course very important to know if there are any problems. As a pro it would be a worst-case scenario if an abnormality is found, but that is the reason why these kind of tests are important,” he said.
“On the other hand we already get to see how our shape is thanks to the maximal exertion test, which is always instructive. I am in the middle of the conditional built-up for next season. My broken collarbone has healed, so I can totally focus on what has to come."