Gesink has surgery to correct heart problem

The Dutch rider has suffered from an irregular heartbeat during bike races for years

Robert Gesink (Belkin) has undergone successful surgery to treat a heart condition, his team announced in a press release Wednesday.

Gesink, 27, has suffered from a cardiac arrhythmia for years, but he has become more concerned about it since last year. He skipped Amstel Gold Race last month after pulling out of both Tirreno-Adriatico and the Vuelta al Pais Vasco (Tour of the Basque Country) because of the condition, which caused an irregular heartbeat under the stress of bike racing.

Belkin said in the release that Gesink will rest before resuming training after consulting with team doctors. There is no word on when he will begin racing again.

“I am very pleased to put these insecure times behind me,” Gesink said in the release. “I will start my recovery with full confidence and hope to know more about my schedule soon.”

Gesink won the 2012 Amgen Tour of California and the 2011 Tour of Oman. He finished fifth in the 2010 Tour de France, and has three top-10 results at the Vuelta a Espana: a seventh in 2008 and sixth in both 2009 and 2012.

Last month, Belkin said Gesink would be treated for the condition that has plagued him during his professional career.

“Belkin Pro Cycling Team rider Robert Gesink has been suffering from cardiac arrhythmia during heavy physical exertions for a few years,” the team said in a statement. “This was also the case while he obtained his greatest race results. During previously conducted medical research, medics have concluded that cardiac arrhythmia does not hinder a cyclist’s performance, even at the highest level. However, ever since the Giro d’Italia in 2013, Robert has become afraid of this disorder. In agreement with the team, the medical staff and experts, Robert has decided to go through an extensive medical examination to try and find the cause of this disorder and a solution for this problem.”