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.”