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Kirchen placed in coma after heart attack

Agence France Presse

Former Luxembourg national champion Kim Kirchen is said to be in stable condition after being placed in an artificial coma following a heart attack.

Kirchen, who finished seventh overall in the 2007 Tour de France, had been competing in the Tour de Suisse when he felt unwell and was hospitalized overnight Friday in Zurich.

He had been in 48th position after seven stages, 19 minutes and 46 seconds behind leader Robert Gesink (Rabobank).

According to a statement from his team, Katusha, the Luxemburger was placed in an artificial coma “to better evaluate his condition. The rider must remain in this condition for at least another 24 hours.”

Kirchen, 31, suffered respiratory problems at the end of March and had been out of action for a month.

Kirchen, primarily known as a one-day race specialist, won the Fleche Wallonne in 2008. He is also a two-time national champion in both road racing and time trialing.

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