Kirchen suffers heart attack?

Kim Kirchen has suffered what some believe to be a heart attack during the night at the Tour de Suisse. I’ve always wondered how such young and healthy riders can have medical complications or heart attacks. I know it’s not unheard of, but yet, begs the question…PEDS?

Katusha rider Kim Kirchen collapsed at his hotel last night following the seventh stage of the Tour de Suisse and was rushed to Zürich hospital.

Initial reports suggest the Luxembourger suffered a heart attack, although these claim have not yet been confirmed. the Katusha team, who confirmed events: “He is in Zurich hospital and he’s having more tests. He is okay. He had a good nights rest. He is awake. Now we just have to wait for more tests.”

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About Flodizzle

Another cyclist toiling away in graduate school. Go figure. Tucson, Arizona, USA

21 thoughts on “Kirchen suffers heart attack?

  1. the same thing happens in running. ryan shay (marathon runner) dropped dead during the olympic trials in 07. i can’t help but wonder.

  2. Ryan Shay had an enlarged heart, and though he was cleared by doctors to continue to train and race at the highest level, it probably killed him.  PEDs were not suspected.  Not saying that Kirchen is clean, but heart problems with high level athletes are not as uncommon as you would think. 

  3. While Kim being on Katusha raises questions alone, it does happen all too often as we had a long time veteran racer die of a heart attack right after crossing the finish line (with his brother no less) a couple weeks ago. Turned out to be a heart condition he had been racing with for years as well.

  4. In my 20s, when I was training a whole lot more than I am now, I had developed a heart condition.  My heart beat at rest was skipping a lot, beating like a very poorly tuned Harley Davidson.  It would stop for a few seconds, and start again, and skip every 3rd to 10th beat.
    I was told by a doctor that I had a strong, athletic heart.  Sadly, I decided to stop riding with the fast guys, and instead I went out all day long in all directions (I have been on the other side of all of the  mountain ranges surrounding the Tucson valley) but at a very much lower pace.  I started taking CoQ10 and it helped a lot.  The heart arrhythmia is gone now, as I live a much less athletic life.  I think there is such a thing as over training.  I’ve been there.

  5. When an athlete has heart problems it always causes people to wonder about PED. Long a go a friend of mine died had a heart attack while carriying her second child. She was 22 and no athlete.

    Here at Stanford, and lots of other places I’m sure, people are looking for clues to early heart attacks in what appear to be normal young healthy people. The researchers don’t like teh idea of the first indicator or heart trouble being a toe tag.

  6. …hey…quintuple (that’s 5, if you’re not paying attention) by-pass here at age 53 due to hereditary genes but i was told unequivocably by my cardiologist & nutritionist at the time of my surgery that my diet (clean) & my exercising (cycling) made a huge difference in making it to that age but also that it gave me a huge leg up on recovery…
    …8 years later & i might not be the fastest guy out there but at age 61,  i’m riding  & i’m fucking enjoyin’ it…
    …ask mikey…he’ll tell ya…we had fun riding together…

  7. White punks on dope! Pushed to the limit and beyond. It’s a gamble these guys are forced to take.

  8. Horseshit…
    Athletes die, unfortunately, all the time from heart conditions that have gone un-diagnosed.  Immediately jumping to the PED conclusion is reckless and shows a lack of knowledge/understanding.  Hayden Roulston ring a bell?
    What about all of the high school and college kids who drop dead while running XC or playing basketball?  They on the AVGAS too?

  9. MM,
    Damn right, thanks for reminding me about Rolly.
    Man’s a true gentleman & I’d bet every bike in my garage, that he rides clean.
    Julian Deans is another.
    Go Kiwi!!

  10. @Mitch:  “Enlarged heart” generally refers to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.  It’s caused by a structural mutation in certain muscle proteins that weakens them.  A surprisingly high percentage of the population has this defect, but it turns out that leading a sedentary lifestyle keeps it from progressing.  Serious athletes, however, stress their hearts regularly enough that they can build up large amounts of scar tissue.

    Hell, I have a friend who HAD a heart conditon that caused sinus tachycardia.  After our TNWC one night, has was laying on the tarmac with a 240HR!  Fortunately, we ride with an ER Doc.  Corotid artery massage was performed on the spot for about 10 minutes and his HR was brought under control.
    He had heart surgery as couple of years ago…@ 33 years old.  Must’ve been the drugs…(rollseyes)

  12. “I’ve always wondered how such young and healthy riders can have medical complications or heart attacks.”.  What about all those young dutch riders kicking the bucket trying to figure out the correct dosing of EPO during its introduction oh so many years ago?  Albeit conjecture and hearsay….

  13. High school athlete , QB, quarter-miler, started racing  bicycles wanted to move up, couldn’t do the miles…8 years later, dx. congenital MVP and AI, 12 years later decision time… cardiac LV hypertrophy, lots of arrhythmia,  afraid of sudden death syndrome, had valve repair @ CCF,  Dr A.M. Gillinov (did Robins Williams  cardiac valve surgery). 2 years later I have a smaller heart, less arrhythmia, and sleep better. all good.
    Kirchen, in a similar boat/ PED who can say? Lance? Medical science vs human vice vs economics its all entertaining in an existential kinda way…

  14. I had a program similar to littlejar.  Athlete my entire life…soccer player to track/cross country…ran Div I on a scholarship.  Always loved biking, and after 12,000 or so miles of running in 4 years, I hung up the shoes in favor of knobby tires.  I have always had an arrythmia, but it didn’t get really bad until I started training for my first tri.  THAT got me concerned…as my heart kept skipping while I was in the pool.  Went through more than a few sleepless nights…it’s tough to relax when your heart just misses…and the resulting stress only exascerbates things.  My wife was waking me a couple times a night just to see if I was still alive.  Passed out once and ended up in the ER and admitted overnight for observation.  That just sucked.  Then I passed every test that had with flying colors, including an electrocardiogram and echocardiagram.  It has subsided a bit over the past couple years, but I can totally see how even a drug-free person might have an issue.