'I know I'll be back stronger': World Scratch champion undergoes successful heart surgery

Four-time Under 23 European champion discovered the issue in her training files

Martina Fidanza
(Image credit: Getty Images)

World Scratch champion Martina Fidanza has undergone successful heart surgery and is now resting after leaving hospital on Friday, December 17.

The 22-year-old Italian track rider's heart rate was spiking to 245 BPM and was very visible on her training files, leading her to have the surgery at the Lancisi University Hospital in Ancona.

Younger sister of Arianna of Team BikeExchange-Jayco, Fidanza has had an excellent 2021 season, managing to take her first elite world title in the Scratch race, backing up her European victory in the same event a year before.

She posted to Instagram after the surgery, saying: "I am delighted to be able to say that the heart operation went well.

"I thank Dr Roberto Corsetti to prof. Antonio Dello Russo for taking care of me in the best possible way. Now a period of rest awaits me but I can't wait to get back on the saddle stronger than before."

In an interview with Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport, Fidanza revealed she now has a loop recorder in her chest. A loop recorder is there to record the electrical activity, however it does not regulate the heart rate like a pacemaker.

Fidanza said: "They discharged me at noon. In the morning they gave me the last visits and additional blood tests because my blood pressure was a bit low. Then I went home with my mum. 

"I have a general feeling of exhaustion and the loop recorder that was placed in my chest bothers me a little, but I just have to get used to it. I know I'll be back stronger still."

Fidanza isn't the first Italian rider in recent months to undergo heart surgery or have issues with the heart. Diego Ulissi took a break from cycling due to Myocarditis after having Covid-19 and Elia Viviani had to leave his Cofidis training camp in January of this year due to abnormalities.

Thank you for reading 10 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.