During the Wildflower Triathlon in early May, Danish cycling powerhouse Torbjørn Sindballe ended his race in T2 after a very uncharacteristic bike ride which saw him he fade down the field with a drastically dropping heart-rate and heavy fatigue.
The Dane has known about an abnormal heart valve since 2005 and has had regular checkups to ensure he was safe to race. After the incident in California he has gone through extensive testing and evaluation with Danish experts. After considering their advice Torbjørn has decided to stop his career immediately.
“The past months have been an emotional rollercoaster for my family and me. Going from world-class competition in the toughest sport in the world to fearing a heart surgery in the near future at the same time as your second child is born is an extreme experience” he said. “My wife, family, friends and sponsors have been a tremendous support in this process and the doctors have been outstanding in their evaluations. Based on the situation I feel good about the decision and can look back on an amazing career in an amazing sport.
“I am going to miss the lifestyle and the intense excitement of training and racing. Of course I’m sad that I will not get to see the impact of the big changes in my training we have made this year and that I will not be able to compete for the crown in Kona. On the other hand I am very proud of what I have achieved. Two ITU Long distance World Champs and a podium in Kona, where I am really not suited to race, is something I will carry with me forever. I have learnt so much and feel very privileged.
"There are so many people who have devoted their expertise, insight and inspiration to me and I will be them forever thankful. I have met countless truly amazing people in this sport and will never forget the time I have had with them. So many people have inspired me in my career and I hope I can give back in the coming years helping people realize their dreams in sport, family and worklife.”
Career highlights include: 3rd place Ironman Triathlon World Championships, Kona 2007 ITU long-distance World Champion 2004 + 2006, silver 1999 + 2002 European Champion 2003 Winner of Ironman 70.3 California 2002 and 2005 and Ironman 70.3 Port Macquarie 2006. More info on Torbjørn at www.sindballe.dk