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‘Cyclists are demigods with vulnerable hearts’

Pauline Farazijn, daughter of ex-professional cyclist Peter Farazijn, studied at the university College West Flanders in Kortrijk, just as sportjournaliste. The final piece of the three-year training, she wrote a bachelor project about the effect of profwielrennen on the heart. ‘Profwielrenners greater risk of heart problems.’

Michael Goolaerts on the Wall of Geraardsbergen © Belga

On Sunday 8 april 2018 died Michael Goolaerts. The only 23-year-old cyclist was during Paris-Roubaix a cardiac arrest, before he and his bike fell in the grass verge of the second kasseistrook remained. After the cpr brought in a helicopter Michael to the hospital of Lille, but it didn’t. To 22u40 let the young rider, the life los. Too early, much too early. The course went by, but Michael took a different route and saw the pack never to return.

Daan Myngheer died in 2016 in the same unfortunate way in Corsica.

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Cyclists are demigods with vulnerable hearts.

They could do an autopsy, no clarity on the cause of the cardiac arrest. Gianni Meersman, Klaas Lodewyck and Johan Vansummeren are the few who are more “lucky”. During their cycling career allowed specialists cardiac arrhythmias. They hung their bike on the hook, Daan and Michael had that choice. Profwielrenners greater risk of heart problems.

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‘Such as smoking poses a risk for lung cancer, intensive endurance sports a risk factor for the development of cardiac arrhythmias.

Cycling is a uithoudingssport with a lot of explosiveness: riders pulling on after each bend, places and, occasionally, a solid demarrage and sprinting at the end of the course through their pain threshold. The heart’s needs over many hours, large volumes of flow, which is an increase of the wandspanning and the electrical damage. This can make arrhythmias more easily occur. Cardiologist Johan Van Lierde, specializing in the impact of sport on the heart, was in the years ’90, the first in Belgium who said that sport is harmful for the heart muscle: ‘such As smoking poses a risk for lung cancer, intensive endurance sports a risk factor for the development of cardiac arrhythmias.’

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The cycling peloton has a great physical condition, but poor health.

Every specialist agrees: sport, pre-eminently profwielrennen, is not healthy. The peloton waits for no one, while, for example, a marathon runner a own pace choose. Cycling invites you to the body to force the issue. The strongest impose the pace and the weaker riders are completely empty but to be able to continue to follow. Or, as Van Lierde says: “The cycling peloton has a great physical condition, but poor health.’ The races are long and heavy. The pro riders were given this year in the Tour of Flanders no less than 264,7 km and 18 slopes to endure. Later on we will also re-le Tour de France start, a sufferfest with the riders after three weeks and 3351 miles exhausted across the finish line in Paris will be bulbs. And then we talk, not about the many workouts.

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Young pros who have 80 courses to drive, after their first year immediately quenched. That may not be the intention.

Too much and too heavy can never be good. Among the pros, there are two options: either blink somewhere in from and a chance to win games, or are you just very good and you get a helpersfunctie. A middle ground is not there. It is important to as quickly as possible to decide which profile you as a rider have and, especially, no mistakes to make. Young pros who have 80 courses to drive, after their first year immediately quenched. That may not be the intention. “Remember: moderate exercise is healthy. As sport work, as in profwielrenners, however, it is a different story, ” emphasizes cardiologist Jan Vercammen.

The wielrennershart undergoes the intensive effort and adapt. The heart becomes bigger and stronger. The rechterkamer of our hearts is, however, less strongly, making it more difference. Kris Van der Ants, sports physician, at the Belgian Cycling, will see the main cause of sudden cardiac death in top athletes: “A piece of the heart muscle can abnormally thicken or enlarge, causing the heart during exertion not enough blood to the organs and muscles pulsing. That eventually leads to cardiac arrest.’ Bikes riders day after day with a high blood pressure.

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‘Of a sudden hartdoden with cyclists whose cause is unclear, think of some specialists to the hartspierontstekingen.

Could the death of Michael and Dan be prevented? Profwielrenners of the most controlled athletes. Each year cyclists a hartscreening us to perform any congenital or non-congenital heart disease to establish. The facts show us that specialists unfortunately, not everything can be detected. For the time being not yet.

Doing nothing is not an option. That is also of the Ants: ‘There is currently an investigation with the heart of some of the top athletes for twenty years, followed. Michael Goolaerts took part in the study.’ Of a sudden hartdoden with cyclists whose cause is unclear, think of some specialists to the hartspierontstekingen. Flu can, for example, on the heart muscle. As a cyclist still cycling, is that not safe. Unfortunately, specialists at this time little influence on the hartspierontstekingen. Doping is there in the recent cases, no question. Doping controls are now so tight, that it is much harder to quantity to manipulate.

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The spectacle seems sometimes more important than the life of a cyclist.

The spectacle seems sometimes more important than the life of a cyclist. No cat would come and watch as riders hand-in-hand across the finish line would drive. People look at profwielrenners, because they are just red and never give up. A cyclist can in a manner of speaking thirty times die during a race, but still find the strength to make it to the tail of the peloton to stay there. They are demigods.

That title brought Michael and Daan, unfortunately, nothing good. The cycling was their life, but also meant their death. About ten years thanks to studies might have other explanations come to the surface. For now, we have peace that not everything can be found. But what is certain is that profwielrenners no heart problem can afford.

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