Bragt i Rouleur

The 2011 Paris-Roubaix winner Johan Vansummeren was forced to retire due to diagnosis of heart problems. His struggle is real, but he is still alive. Others were not so lucky

Arrhythmia, the killer in the peloton


"Fuck you and your small problems.” The words burst out of Johan Vansummeren. It should have been an ordinary dinner. The peloton had just finished the second stage of the 2016 Tour of Oman, 162 kilometres ending in the small fishing village of Quriyat. Vansummeren’s legs felt worse than ever, having momentarily cramped while going up a steep climb.

Sitting in the hotel restaurant, he was eating with his AG2R La Mondiale team-mate Domenico Pozzovivo. In true Italian fashion, Pozzovivo was complaining about the state of his pasta and how it was cooked, not living up to his home country’s standards.

Meanwhile, Vansummeren wrestled bigger thoughts. He hadn’t expected the ramifications of the phone call he received moments before dinner. Pozzovivo’s pasta palaver put him over the edge: he cursed, threw his fork to the side and left.

The Belgian went to his hotel room, walked around in circles and muttered “fuck, fuck, fuck” to himself.

He was afraid.


Du kan læse resten af Johan Vansummerens dybt personlige historie, og hvordan hjertearrytmi stopper cykelkarriere og slår ryttere ihjel, hvis du køber marts udgaven af det britiske cykelmagasin Rouleur.