Mario Cipollini recovering from five-hour heart surgery

The former Italian sprinter came close to dying, according to his doctor

Mario Cippolini with Vera Carrara prior to the Women's road race at the 2006 Worlds (Franck Fife/AFP via Getty Images)

(Image credit: AFP via Getty Images)

Former Italian sprinter Mario Cipollini is recovering from a five-hour heart surgery undertaken to correct an artery anomaly, having risked death because of the condition.

The procedure was performed last month, with Cipollini going public with his health issues in order to help people better understand the heart problems cyclists can face.

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Gregor Brown

Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.