Tinkoff-Saxo have confirmed that their 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 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”.
During a routine echo-cardiogram in preparation for the 2016 season, a possible progression was observed in his condition. As a result, Rogers has been advised to moderate his training until further expert opinions have been solicited.
“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.”