Sagan today undergoes heart surgery for fear in Valencia: he exceeds 200 heartbeats on a mountain bike

Sagan today undergoes heart surgery for fear in Valencia: he exceeds 200 heartbeats on a mountain bike
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Abnormal tachycardia during the race: the Slovakian immediately thought of Colbrelli. Hospitalized in Ancona, he will undergo an ablation

Romans – Sconamiglio

February 23 – 08:03 – MILAN

Not even a heart ablation will stop Peter Sagan. Fear on Sunday, the first assessments on site. Then the trip to Italy for further tests and the decision to intervene to check the electrical impulses of the heart: in a few days he will be able to go back to being the superhero on a bicycle. Over the years, the Slovakian champion has shown that he knows how to triumph in many different ways, he was able to excite the fans even with a wheelie up a hill or signing a book while he was competing. But on Sunday near Valencia, during a mountain bike race, fear takes over: “Like Colbrelli”, the 34-year-old Slovakian thinks at the finish line. The heart rate exceeds 200 beats per minute, something that has never happened before in his career when the maximum has always hovered around 190, and immediately the technician Patxi Vila takes the situation into his own hands: «Peter, give me the files on the computer because I can ‘something’s wrong.”


The key is right here, because the professionals’ tools are truly sophisticated: with these measurements, the athletes’ data is decisive for an immediate evaluation and the staff of the three-time road world champion – from 2015 to 2017 – wastes no time. Sagan turns to Dr. Roberto Corsetti, a cardiologist, whom he has known since he became a new professional at Liquigas, and on Tuesday he reaches his B&B Medical Center in Imola. Corsetti analyzes the files recorded on the bicycle computer, which arrive from the heart rate monitor and the power detector on the pedals. On Tuesday and Wednesday Peter undergoes a series of clinical and instrumental checks: among these, the so-called Satan test (a maximal effort test on a cycle ergometer, repeated several times) and two-hour outdoor training sessions. The values ​​clearly indicate the sudden onset, always at high levels of intensity of physical effort, of episodes of anomalous tachycardia with a high ventricular response. Hence the decision to intervene with an operation at the Lancisi university hospital in Ancona, an excellence of Italian medicine. Walk The winner of Flanders 2016, Roubaix 2018, 18 stages in the grand tours (12 at the Tour, 4 at the Vuelta, 2 at the Giro) as well as seven green jerseys at the Tour will today undergo an invasive operation, a heart ablation to check electrical impulses, in the cardiology and arrhythmology department directed by Professor Antonio Dello Russo with the presence of Doctor Corsetti himself. From the clinical findings of recent days, doctors are expressing great optimism: this is not an alteration to be correlated to a pathology that could compromise the continuation of competitive activity. It is the same structure and the same type of operation that Elia Viviani and Martina Fidanza underwent in 2021, while for Diego Ulissi – roommate of the Olympic champion in the Omnium in Rio 2016 in the days of the operation – it was myocarditis and no intervention was necessary. And Viviani himself, standard-bearer at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics, who grew up in Liquigas together with Sagan, a great friend of his, calls him to cheer him up: «Peter, don’t worry. It’s a walk in the park.” They speak regularly at least once a week, and share the same attorney, Giovanni Lombardi.

Olympic Games

Having retired from road racing, Sagan began this season with a new goal: mountain biking at the Olympics. «If I win the Games, I will ask to be the flag bearer of Slovakia» he confided in an interview with the Gazzetta a couple of weeks ago, on the eve of the first mountain bike competition, the Hero Abu Dhabi. The sudden stop will not change the plans and dreams of the three-time road world champion. «The operation is in day hospital – explains his director Patxi Vila – and in a few days Peter will be back on his bicycle to better prepare for his next commitments». Yes, because Sagan wants to qualify for the Games in MTB. Starting from March 16th and 17th in Marseille, the same weekend as the Milan-Sanremo, the much-loved classic that Peter, incredibly, never managed to win. «After the test in France we will move to Brazil for two more MTB World Cup races – explains the Slovak’s coach -. Then Nove Mesto, Val di Sole, Crans Montana, and in June we will draw conclusions.” If the results are not enough, there could be a wild card hypothesis: «It’s an option, but we won’t ask for it regardless – concludes Vila -: it will only be done if Peter is in shape to make a good impression at the Olympics». In any case, not even an ablation will stop his mission.


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