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"Get health checks regularly to catch things early and stay positive": Sir Dave Brailsford offers advice as he reveals he underwent heart surgery

Ineos Grenadiers’ team principal had previously been operated on for prostate cancer in September 2019, and has now revealed that he had heart surgery in March

Sir Dave Brailsford has revealed that he underwent heart surgery in March, and has been offering his Strava followers some more sound advice during the Tour de France. The Ineos Grenadiers team principal had previously been operated on for prostate cancer in September 2019. 

> Sir Dave Brailsford reveals prostate cancer diagnosis made before Tour de France

The 57-year-old revealed news of his latest operation when replying last week to a follower on Strava, named Andy, who said: “Glad to see you back on your bike, Dave,” before revealing that he too had “recently been diagnosed with low level prostate cancer.”

Andy said that his diagnosis had come as a “massive shock”, but added that he had “decided to get back on my bike and just pedal on,” and wished Brailsford “good luck with everything, stay healthy and the best of luck at the Tour.”

Brailsford replied: “Hey Andy, the fact you caught it early is really important as it is with all health issues!

“As you may know I had prostate cancer and had it removed and then in March this year I also had heart surgery as I had a totally blocked artery and was getting pain in my chest when I rode but now I’ve never felt better!!

“Key is to get health checks regularly to catch things early and stay positive and optimistic especially as the mind has such an influence on our bodies.

“I know it’s a bit cheesy but I like the ‘bend like bamboo’ analogy for dealing with difficult challenging times – bend when it’s tough knowing it’s ok to do so and that you will bounce back as time passes by – rather than trying always staying rigid like a stick and resisting everything and eventually snapping.

“Flex, be ok doing so and bounce back. Bamboo not stick is the way Andy!!!

“Find things to be ambitious about, strive towards them and keep friends and family close!! That’s my experience anyway.”

In response, Andy said: “Really appreciate your words Dave, thank you for finding the time, right now especially ... I’m trying to keep as positive as I can, and even forget I have prostate cancer at times, I have a fantastic wife who has been a massive help and support throughout this health issue I now have, and we’re both now back out on our bikes again."

After a gap of several months, Brailsford, who is at the Tour de France, has started posting bike rides regularly to Strava again since the race started the weekend before last, typically of around 40km in distance, although some have exceeded 80km.

Last week, after Mark Cavendish won his first Tour de France stage in five years, one follower said it was “fantastic to see Cav back on the top step of the podium.”

Brailsford, who of course worked with Cavendish for several years as performance director of British Cycling and at Team Sky in 2012, replied: “Absolutely!  

“Just brilliant and the tenacity he has shown over the last few years is admirable. I’m sure he’ll be on a roll now!!”

Brailsford appears to have first begun posting his bike rides to Strava in late 2019, and as we noted in February last year is happy to share advice with his followers on the social network, including providing hints and tips on diet and training regimes.

> Sir Dave Brailsford reveals his personal diet and training regime on Strava

We have approached Ineos Grenadiers for a comment regarding Brailsford's latest surgery.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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