Vogondy sidelined with heart trouble
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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Vogondy sidelined with heart trouble

by Conal Andrews at 8:09 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Double French champion Nicolas Vogondy has been forced to take a break from cycling due to heart issues. During pre-season tests cardiac arrhythmias were diagnosed in the Bbox Bouyges Telecom rider, and doctors have told him that he must undergo complete rest.

Vogondy will be re-examined in February and if the readings have returned to normal, he should be allowed to have a licence for 2010. Otherwise, he will face further time off the bike.

At this point it is uncertain if he could be forced to stop racing altogether.

The tests are part of each rider’s ‘suivi medical,’ a health examination that was introduced into French cycling in the wake of the Festina affair. While part of the goal of the tests is to identify possibly symptoms of doping use, there is also the benefit that it allows doctors to uncover any health problems that could have serious consequences down the line.

It is recommended that sportspeople undergo cardiac monitoring in order to identify issues such as Vogondy’s. Possible causes for arrhythmias can include viruses and stress.

Now 32, he turned professional in 1997 with Française des Jeux and soon after won the the third stage of the Tour de Normandie. Vogondy won the French title in 2002 and 2008, and went close to winning the fifth stage of the 2008 Tour de France.

He jumped away from a breakaway group with just over one kilometre to go, but was caught by the peloton 70 metres from the finish. Mark Cavendish (Columbia) won the stage.

As expected, Vogondy is frustrated by the current heart issues and the enforced rest.

“I’m concerned and very disappointed,” the former Agritubel rider told journalists, according to the Gazet Van Antwerpen. “I wanted a good start with my new team.”

Team manager Jean-René Bernaudeau pledged his support. “It is necessary to wait several days, say the first half of February. We count on him, we are waiting patiently.”

Directeur sportif Didier Rous echoes this, also hoping that it is merely a temporary setback. “This could happen to anyone,” he said. “We will do everything to help him, with the hope that future tests will have a positive outcome.”

As was already reported on VeloNation, the BBox Bouygues Telecom team was presented yesterday in Boulogne-Billancourt, France.

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