An Post-Chainreaction rider (22) forced to retire due to heart problems

Posted on: November 4th, 2017

An Post-Chainreaction rider (22) retires due to heart problems

Looking to make his way in the pro game, a bad crash saw his body broken. But his problems were only starting; the diagnosis of his heart condition now forcing him to retire aged 22 years.


An Post-Chainreaction rider (22) retires due to heart problems


The last week has been marked with the disappointing news that An Post-Chainreaction will not be in the peloton next year.

The squad plans to spend the rest of the winter and next summer lining up new sponsors to return in 2019. But one of its riders from this year sadly does not have such hopes.

Dutch rider Davy Gunst has been forced out of racing due to a heart problem.

He rode for SEG Racing and then the Rabobank Development Team before switching to An Post-Chainreaction for this year.

However, his season was cut very short. And now his racing career is over, though he remains in the bike game on the management side.

His troubled period began almost two years ago; December of 2015 to be precise.

Gunst suffered a training accident in which he broke his pelvis, spine and sacrum. During his medical care after that crash an irregular cardiac pattern was identified.

Initially it was not believe the abnormal variations in his heartbeat posed any real danger. But after his recovery and resuming his cycling career, the problem worsened.

Gunst trained over last winter and into the early months of this year. After the off season he donned the colours of his new team and pinned on his numbers to race.

He rode the Etoile de Besseges stage race and one-day Marseillaise early season French races. And he would also compete in Alentejo in Portugal.

However, his irregular cardiac patterns worsened and a decision was taken to stop racing. A period of intense medical checks would follow.

The team has now summed up what happened next:

“After weeks of examination, several arrhythmias were discovered. On three occasions, Davy underwent cardiac ablation in an attempt to salvage his cycling career and keep his dream of becoming a professional cyclist alive.

“Disappointingly, during the ablation procedures, four separate cardiac issues were brought to light in four different cardiac locations. Ablation of all four locations was deemed impossible.”

It confirmed Gunst has now been forced to stop racing. He will now study International Business and Management at Avans, Breda, in his native Holland. And he is also set to go into cycling management.

“Although my career as a racing cyclist is over, I will begin my new role as sports director at the junior Willebrord Wil Vooruit team,” he said.

“I will share my knowledge gained during my time with An Post Chain Reaction, Rabobank, SEG Racing and EFC Omega Pharma Quickstep, to help them to develop and progress to a higher level.

“My ultimate goal for the future is to become a sports director or manager of a professional cycling team.

“I would like to thank everybody for their vast and varied support throughout the years, the medical staff and Centre CENIT who tirelessly helped me, the teams I have been part of and most of all my family and close friends.”