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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary

I am not afraid of death, I just don't want to be there when it happens. - Woody Allen

Heart problem causes Michael Rogers to postpone 2016 season start

The team put out this report:

Tinkoff-Saxo’s road captain Michael Rogers will delay the start of his 16th and final year in the professional peloton after a possible progression in a known heart condition was observed during a recent health screening. The Australian will miss Tour Down Under and the Australian National championships in January 2016.

“Michael was diagnosed with a congenital bicuspid aortic valve in 2001”, explains Doctor Piet De Moor, head of Tinkoff-Saxo’s medical team. "The aortic valve plays a crucial role in cardiac output by preventing blood from re-entering the left ventricle from the main artery. Due to the Michael’s bicuspid formation, the valve is prevented from sealing perfectly, causing a small amount of blood to return back into the left ventricle. Michael’s condition has been well documented throughout his career and has been under constant observation by several sports cardiologists”.

Michael Rogers

Michael Rogers at the 2015 Eneco Tour

During a routine echo-cardiogram in preparation for the 2016 season, a possible progression was observed in his condition. As a result, Michael has been advised to moderate his training until further expert opinions have been solicited.

Tinkoff-Saxo is firm supporter of the UCI-mandated annual health screenings as they play a fundamental role in maintaining the health and safety of our riders.

“Michael and team management have taken the decision to withdraw from Tour Down Under and the Australian National championships. Michael will again be a crucial member of our core squad when he returns to his top fitness level”, commented Steven de Jongh, Head Sport Director of Tinkoff-Saxo.

“My first stage win and overall victory in the professional ranks was at the 2002 Tour Down Under, so I’m disappointed I will not be present for next year’s edition”, stated Michael Rogers.

“I look forward to being back doing what I adore most – trying to win bike races for myself and my teammates", concluded Rogers.

Wiggins will not try to extend his world hour record

Bradley Wiggins has said he that he does not intend to extend his world hour record beyond its current 54.526 kilometers, set in June of 2015. He told the Guardian that at 35 years old, he wants to concentrate on preparing for the team pursuit at the Rio Olympics next summer.

Bradley Wiggins

Wiggins setting the current world hour record in June of 2015

He is spending serious time in the weight room with the goal of putting 16 kilograms of body weight compared to what he weight when he won the Tour de France in 2012.

Riis, again, might buy Tinkoff team

Although Oleg Tinkoff had earlier dismissed the possibility, L'Equipe reports that there is talk again that Bjarne Riis, with backing from Saxo Bank, might again be in the mix to buy the team currently called Tinkoff-Saxo. In 2012 he sold to the team to Tinkoff and in 2015 Tinkoff fired Riis. We'll keep an eye on this...

Tinkoff and Riis

Oleg Tinkoff and Bjarne Riis in happier days

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary