Cycling News

SD Worx-Protime’s Anna Shackley forced to quit pro cycling

SD Worx-Protime's Anna Shackley forced to quit pro cycling

On Tuesday, SD Worx-Protime announced that Anna Shackley will have to retire from top-level sport after some results of several medical tests.

In January, she received a diagnosis of cardiac arrhythmia. Subsequently, she underwent a heart screening at Maxima Medisch Centrum in Veldhoven, in collaboration with the medical team of SD Worx-Protime. This screening revealed several irregularities, prompting an immediate cessation of cycling activities and further comprehensive tests and procedures at a hospital in Barcelona near her hometown. Throughout this period, Shackley refrained from training or participating in races. The latest findings from these tests and procedures have led to the conclusion that her heart condition is not conducive to pursuing a top-level sports career.

Promising talent

“We are very sorry to see Anna’s cycling career end like this,” Danny Stam of SD Worx-Protime, said. “She was one of the bigger talents in the women’s peloton. We saw in recent years that she was making good progress and we believed she could grow to the world top. It is especially unfortunate for her that she is now forced to stop. On the other hand, we are also happy that we were able to prevent any more dangerous complications. We hope Anna can return to her ‘normal’ life and we will work with the team to see how we can help.”

What is Cardiac arrhythmia?

Cardiac arrhythmia is a condition where the heart beats irregularly, disrupting its normal rhythm, according to Johns Hopkins. Normally, electrical signals generated by specialized heart cells prompt the heart muscle to contract, producing a heartbeat. However, when the heart beats irregularly, it can lead to symptoms ranging from minor discomfort to life-threatening conditions like cardiac arrest. Diagnosing the specific type of arrhythmia is crucial as different disturbances require distinct treatments. Advanced treatment options may include medication, elimination of abnormal signal-producing cells, and the use of implanted devices to regulate heart rhythms.

Shackley turned pro with Team SD Worx in 2021. In 2023, she finished 4th overall at the
UAE Tour Women. The year before she was 7th overall at the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta. At the Tour de l’Avenir in 2023, she took second in the opening time trial, ultimately finishing second overall as well. At the 2023 under-23 road worlds, Shackley took the bronze behind Blanka Vas andShirin van Anrooij.

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