Belkin rider Robert Gesink withdraws from competition to undergo heart surgery
Dutchman Robert Gesink will undergo a heart operation after suffering pain during last week’s Tour of the Basque Country.
The 27-year-old Belkin rider has pulled out of Sunday’s Amstel Gold race and will also likely miss July’s Tour de France.
“At the Tour of the Basque Country last week, I felt pain again. Short but around the heart,” said Gesink at a press conference in Schipol near Amsterdam.
“It’s not the first time it’s happened and it’s worrying.”
Gesink, who was also afflicted by hyperventilation, revealed he had been to see a radiologist who had decided he needs an operation to correct the problem.
“Every time I suffered from hyperventilation, my heart raced,” he said.
“It makes me worried when that happens and it affects my performances as I’m afraid something bad will happen.”
Gesink retired during the fifth stage of last week’s Tour of the Basque country, while in March he also failed to complete the Tirreno-Adriatico.
He previously had to pull out of the 2011 Dutch championships and the Giro d’Italia last year.
Gesink has enjoyed some success in stage races, winning the Tour of Oman in 2011 and the Tour of California a year later.
He also finished fifth in the Tour de France in 2010 and three times claimed top seven spots at the Tour of Spain.