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Zubeldia discloses cardiac problems in early 2012

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Haimar Zubeldia (RadioShack - Nissan) almost crashed but moved up a place on GC

Haimar Zubeldia (RadioShack - Nissan) almost crashed but moved up a place on GC
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Haimar Zubeldia is RadioShack's best placed rider on GC

Haimar Zubeldia is RadioShack's best placed rider on GC
(Image credit: Daniel Benson)
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Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (RadioShack) speaks to the press after his 7th place finish.

Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (RadioShack) speaks to the press after his 7th place finish.
(Image credit: Dominic Schlerpf / cyclinginside.com)
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Prologue winner Haimar Zubeldia (Team RadioShack) started stage one in the leader's yellow jersey.

Prologue winner Haimar Zubeldia (Team RadioShack) started stage one in the leader's yellow jersey.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)

Haimar Zubeldia will finish the Tour de France as sixth best overall and the best RadioShack-Nissan rider, but for the Spaniard the most important fact is that he has simply been able to ride the race. Before Sunday's stage he disclosed he sat out three months earlier in the season with a heart problem which could have ended his career.

Zubeldia sat out racing form the end of February to the end of May, with a “persistent atrial fibrillation”, or irregular heart beat, “which the doctors told me could have been the end of my career,” he said in a statement. “I had four weeks of complete rest and treatment.”

Fortunately, “everything went well,” and he thanked his doctor, family, friends and team, and now “I can enjoy cycling like never before.”

He said that his team “was aware of my situation at all times,” but the same can't be said of the public. “Some of you asked me then why I did not race during that time and I answered that I had a hamstring injury ... I could not say anything else and I hope you understand.”