How Quick is Tom Boonen’s heart Stepping?
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Thursday, January 28, 2010

How Quick is Tom Boonen’s heart Stepping?

by Ben Atkins at 1:51 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

At the recent Quick Step training camp in Calpe, Spain top riders had their hearts monitored 24 hours a day by eminent cardiologist Professor Pedro Brugada according to

Riders have apparently spent the entire camp with a patch, no bigger than a mobile phone, attached to their chests.

"The purpose of this operation was to perform a continuous electrocardiogram on the athletes," said Professor Brugada, "even in extreme conditions. With a little sucker, very different from the bulky equipment generally required for such examinations, we can continuously monitor the patient’s data. He can even take a shower with this patch.

"The process is almost instantaneous," he continued. "Data is collected by the apparatus affixed to the patient, and is sent via Internet to Corventis, a California company specializing in the treatment of such information. If I am the appropriate doctor, the data is then sent me on my cell phone and I can study the individual’s heart in real-time."

The professor has been able to continuously monitor the heartbeats of riders like Tom Boonen, Stijn Devolder and Sylvain Chavanel. All appear to be in excellent health, but for Brugada the exercise is very worthwhile.

"Interest is, above all, preventive," he explained "Cyclists are athletes exposed to a very high variability of heart rate. For some it is less than 40 beats per minute at rest, to over 200 during a maximum effort. It is therefore important to detect any abnormality. Each year 10,000 people die of sudden death in Belgium. This equipment enables a useful examination in the detection of many anomalies and can work to significantly reduce that figure."


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