A CYCLIST is campaigning for more heart testing for athletes after he was diagnosed with a condition missed by health professionals.

Jack Sadler, 25, from Ulverston, has been cycling since he was eight-years-old, competing internationally in cycling events.

Mr Sadler, who works at Tredz Bike Shop as well as having his own cycling coaching business, began noticing unusual symptoms during his races.

He said: “When I was competing in professional racing back in 2014, I was getting really light-headed and experiencing palpitations in the middle of races.

“It got to the point where I had to sit at the side of the road for an hour.

“My heart rate wouldn’t go down and was averaging about 240bpm which was not normal at all.”

After signing for the Belgium pro-cycling team, Mr Sadler’s symptoms began to worsen and he decided to stop racing all together.

He said: “I’d had enough at that point. I’d gone through £1,000 worth of private testing and the doctors still couldn’t find anything.

“My dad was a pro cyclist. I was basically brought up with cycling and racing bikes. My whole life is pretty much bikes so when I decided to give it up, it was pretty devastating.

“It wasn’t until I started coaching that I met a cardiologist who had an ECG monitor.

“Up to this point I had only been tested on a running machine and he tested me on the bike to find out what was going on. Within the first six seconds, they found the condition straight away.”

Mr Sadler was diagnosed with the heart condition Supraventricular Tachycardia and underwent keyhole surgery two weeks later.

He said: “It was such a relief to get a diagnosis but massively scary at the same time. It’s basically currents in my heart getting trapped by this circuit which is why it was so high.

“The options were surgery, tablets or stopping racing and I did not want to do that.

“It’s not meant to be genetic, but my 23-year-old sister was actually diagnosed with the same condition.”

Following the surgery, Mr Sadler said his heart is now back to normal, but he felt compelled to raise awareness of the condition and encourage testing for other people.

He said: “I know of quite a few people who have collapsed in races due to heart-related problems and a pro cyclist died a few months ago of a heart attack.

“Testing needs to improve in all sports – it’s just not hugely available at the moment.

“The fact I had to go through £1,000 worth of testing, and was signed off fit and healthy when I clearly wasn’t, was a massive wake up call.

“Testing just isn’t there in sports - for young athletes to go through this is incredible scary.”

Mr Sadler decided to take on a mammoth cycling challenge climbing the height of Mount Everest to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.

He said: “You basically climb the equivalent of Everest - 8,848m - in one day. I picked the Black Mountain in South Wales which we rode up and down 49 times in 15 hours.

“It was the most challenging thing I’ve done by far because I’m not an endurance cyclist.

“When I was racing, the longest race I’d done was about 100 miles so this was new to me.”

Mr Sadler surpassed his fundraising goal and raised more than £1,500 for the British Heart Foundation. To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/JacksEverestingChallenge.