Gijs Verdick, 21, reportedly suffers brain damage after two cardiac arrests during the Carpathian Couriers Race in Poland


Dutch rider Gijs Verdick is in a critical condition in a Polish hospital after suffering two cardiac arrests while at the Carpathian Couriers Race.

The 21-year-old reportedly suffered the first at 1am on Tuesday morning, according to a press release from his Cycling Team Jo Piels team.

After several attempts to resuscitate Verdick, the rider was rushed to hospital, where he suffered a second arrest.

The statement read: “[On Tuesday morning], 21-year-old Gijs Verdick, cyclist on the Cycling Team Jo Piels, had a cardiac arrest at around 01:00. Gijs repeatedly was resuscitated and taken to hospital. In hospital, he had a second cardiac arrest and he also incurred brain damage from lack of oxygen.

“His family arrived this afternoon in Poland. The situation is very worrying and critical.”

Team Wiggins were racing at the same U23 race in Poland, with a team spokesman reporting that mechanic Mick Bell was required to perform CPR on a rider, although it is not clear whether this was Verdick.

In March, Belgian rider Daan Myngheer died from a heart attack suffered at the Criterium International.

  • SonOfaGun

    Let’s not canonise athletes who have heart attacks just yet, ala Fabrice Muamba. In the 2003-04 season seven cyclists died of heart attacks caused by the extra white blood cells created by EPO thickening and clotting their blood.

  • Dave Smith

    Medical screening is a requirement for road pros under UCI regs. (defined as those in the top 2 divisions). Also a requirement for certain riders in other disciplines eg BMX, track, MTB

  • Sara Bell

    A young man is fighting for his life and that’s the only comment you can make?
    Your comments are offensive to Gijs’s family, friends and fellow cyclists. My husband fought for 40 mins to save his life with CPR while I struggled to get an ambulance. I was there when the police inevitably asked about drugs. He was a clean young rider doing what he loved. Our sport has taken such criticism over drug use and we now need to look forward with positivity and not back with cynicism. We do not want insensitive people in our sport, so please find something else to do. No one deserves what happened to Gijs.

  • Michael

    Don’t gamble in real life then, because if you thought the majority of pro cyclists did something which caused heart attacks and had a working brain surely you’d conclude that the history of pro cycling races would be littered with their dead bodies.

    So, mr playing the odds, where are all the bodies buried?

  • eurobike

    Just playing the odds, decades of drug use in pro cycling speaks loudly.

  • Liz Miller

    How dare you say that without a shred of evidence as to what has caused his heart attacks. Don’t judge everybody by your own standards

  • eurobike

    Better check his blood for traces of drugs…

  • im surprised there isn’t more heart screening in cycling and other sports – rugby league (all professional levels) has it as compulsory – would hopefully help detect any abnormalities sooner rather than later, even if it means an athlete leaving their sport.

  • John Smith

    good luck Gijs, lets hope he pulls through
    Sportspeople need to take more checks on their heart, you only have one pump
    Many latent conditions do not reveal until its too late