Maaike Polspoel, who was second in Belgium's...

Maaike Polspoel leaves Liv-Plantur

After diagnosis of disease requiring corticosteroid treatment not allowed by MPCC, of which Liv-Plantur is a member, Polspoel leaves team

Belgian cyclist Maaike Polspoel, who has ridden in the Liv-Plantur organization (last year’s squad was known as Giant-Shimano) since the start of the 2014 season, is leaving the team. She made the decision to end her tenure with the team following a diagnosis with autoimmune pancreatitis, a disease that requires treatment with various medicines, including corticosteroids — the regulations of the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC), of which Liv-Plantur is a member, do not allow riders to race while being under corticosteroid treatment.

Autoimmune pancreatitis is a disease that can arise spontaneously. “It is a serious disease and proper long-term treatment is necessary, as the pancreas could otherwise deteriorate, with severe consequences”, explained team physician Anko Boelens.

“Being diagnosed with this disease has been a shock for me,” said Polspoel.

“I will require long-term treatment with corticosteroids and other medicines to overcome it. Thanks to the treatment, I am currently feeling well and able to train. I actually feel fit enough to race again. Due to the MPCC regulations, however, I am not allowed to race while using corticosteroids. I asked the team to terminate my contract, which they did, so that I can go elsewhere and race with immediate effect.”