Heart issue forces pro cyclist into early retirement

Wesley Kreder's doctor told him the wisest option was to end his career

Wesley Kreder signing on at the 2023 Tour of Poland
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Cofidis rider Wesley Kreder has decided to retire from professional cycling, aged 32, following a cardiac incident that left him hospitalised for over a week. 

The Dutchman experienced myocarditis - inflammation of the heart muscle - on the night of 28 August and woke up in hospital the next morning. He remained there under close medical watch until 6 September. 

Following the ordeal, Kreder said he was "so happy to be alive" and ended his season. He has now been forced to retire.

In a statement shared by Cofidis on Monday, Kreder said: “After my heart incident, I told myself I could return to the highest level and do races. But my doctor has informed me that the best, and wisest, solution is to stop. 

“I know the sacrifices you have to make and the physical shape necessary to compete at the highest level, and this is not compatible with what I experienced. The decision was not easy to make, but when I look at my children, my family, I know I’ve done what I had to do. 

The Dutchman added that he has enjoyed a “nice career”, and that he wants to “hold on to the positives”. He will now take some time to focus on his family life before looking into other career options. 

“I hope that, through my story, people will say that the best lesson is that life is too short not to love it. I will try to make the most of it, too," he said. 

Kreder joined Cofidis at the beginning of the 2022 season, having previously ridden for Intermarché-Circus-Wanty. A committed domestique, he has taken just two professional victories in his career, winning the Tour de Vendée in 2012, and a stage of the 2016 ZLM Tour in his native Netherlands. 

The Dutchman abandoned the Tour of Poland in August this year, although his team have said this was not related to heart issues.

Last month, Jumbo-Visma rider Nathan van Hooydonck retired from professional cycling due to a “heart muscle anomaly”, his team said. The 27-year-old suffered an episode that caused him to crash his car in mid-September. He was then put into an induced coma, and woke up without serious injury. 

Israel-Premier Tech’s Sep Vanmarcke also ended his career early this year after a cardiac scan revealed scar tissue on his heart. 

Kreder’s annoucement comes almost a year after Sonny Colbrelli, winner of Paris-Roubaix in 2021, retired following his collapse at the Volta a Catalunya. 

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