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Belgian Rider Nathan van Hooydonck Retires from Cycling
In an unexpected turn of events, Belgian rider Nathan van Hooydonck has announced his retirement from professional cycling. The decision comes after the 27-year-old Jumbo-Visma rider had an internal defibrillator fitted due to a heart muscle anomaly. This anomaly was discovered following a car accident last week when Van Hooydonck fell ill at the wheel.
This sudden development has left Van Hooydonck reflecting on how fortunate he was to receive prompt assistance. Expressing his gratitude towards those who aided him throughout this challenging period, he acknowledges that things could have taken a different turn had it not been for their swift intervention.
“I realize that I was incredibly lucky,” said Van Hooydonck. “Things may have gone differently if I hadn’t received good help so quickly.” However, despite being grateful for the support he received, he still needs to come to terms with the fact that retiring is now inevitable.
Van Hooydonck extends his appreciation to the medical team at the hospital and all the fans who sent him messages during this difficult time. He also expresses relief that his pregnant wife emerged unharmed from the car accident and looks forward to focusing on his recovery and impending fatherhood.
The Journey in Professional Cycling
Nathan van Hoodyonk embarked on his professional cycling career with BMC in 2017 before joining Dutch team Jumbo-Visma in 2021. He played a crucial role as part of Jonas Vingegaard’s support team during the Tour de France, which saw Vingegaard emerge as the winner.
Last week, Van Hooydonck participated in the Tour of Britain and was also set to represent Belgium at the European Road Championships. Unfortunately, his retirement means he will not be able to compete in this prestigious event.
As Nathan van Hooydonck bids farewell to his professional cycling career, he shifts his focus towards recovery and preparing for fatherhood. He expresses gratitude for everything going well with Alicia’s pregnancy and eagerly anticipates their child’s arrival.
“Everything is going well with Alicia and the pregnancy, and we eagerly anticipate the birth. That really helps me now.”
The world of cycling will miss Nathan van Hooydonck’s talent on the race tracks. However, it is important to prioritize one’s health above all else. We wish him a smooth recovery journey and joyous times ahead as he embraces fatherhood.