Kim Kirchen back in training, has defibrillator implanted
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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Kim Kirchen back in training, has defibrillator implanted

by VeloNation Press at 11:52 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury
Andrei Tchmil opposes Luxemburger's return to racing

Kim KirchenKim Kirchen is back in training, according to Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, and the Luxemburger is eager to get back to racing. He had a defibrillator implanted to avoid the risk of further heart problems. Kirchen had a cardiac arrest in June and was in medically induced coma for several days.

Kirchen had a series of tests done and was cleared to ride, provided he uses a defibrillator. Whether Kirchen will race again remains to be seen, but it seems clear that it won't be possible with Katusha, his current team.

The team's manager Andrei Tchmil has categorically denied such a possibility. "To let somebody race again who was almost dead [in June] is irresponsible," Tchmil told Het Nieuwsblad. "It is a time bomb which can go off anytime. Kirchen can have a function within the team, but racing: No."

Kirchen complained about heart problems earlier this year in Flèche Wallonne, then had to pull out of the Tour de Suisse for the same reason. His condition deteriorated and he was put in a coma by the doctors for several days.

He has since recovered well. Tchmil had already offered him to fill out a position within the team. At the time, Kirchen was unsure about a return to the sport. He seems to have made up his mind now, but finding a team may be difficult.

Among other things, Kirchen won Paris-Brussel in 2003. He has also been the Luxembourg champion in both the road race and the time trial. In 2008 he had a great season, winning La Flèche Wallonne as well as stages in the Tour of the Basque Country. He also wore the green and yellow jersey for several days in the Tour de France that year.


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