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."
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In an interview with Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport (opens in new tab), 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.
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