European champion Sonny Colbrelli has returned home to Italy for tests after suffering a serious heart problem on the Tour of Catalonia in Spain this week, his team said on Sunday.
The 31-year-old Bahrain Victorious rider had been in hospital in Girona after losing consciousness after an intense uphill dash for the line in last Monday’s first stage where he finished second behind Australian Michael Matthews.
“Given the stable clinical conditions, Sonny Colbrelli was given clearance to travel to Italy,” his team said in a statement.
It said Colbrelli underwent “examinations (to) investigate the cause of the unstable cardiac arrhythmia that required defibrillation”.
“Further examinations will be carried out in the upcoming days in an Italian centre of excellence for the diagnosis and therapy of cardiovascular diseases,” it added.
Colbrelli had been making his comeback after pulling out of the Tirreno-Adriatico stage race in Italy three weeks ago due to a bout of bronchitis.
He won the prestigious Paris-Roubaix race last year a few weeks after claiming the European title and has a total of 34 race wins over his career.
“It’s already a miracle if I’m alive, now I need another to put me back in the saddle,” Colbrelli told Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport.