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Heart problem forces Northey's retirement

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 5/05/2016
Mike Northey, after he won the 2012 Tour of Southland. © Rob Jefferies/Getty Images Mike Northey, after he won the 2012 Tour of Southland.

Ill health has forced the premature retirement of leading New Zealand road cycling professional Mike Northey.

The 2014 Commonwealth Games road race rider says the discovery of a heart condition triggered the immediate termination his contract with British team Madison Genesis.

He announced his retirement on social media, explaining a virus he contracted last year was found to have permanently damaged his heart. It was discovered too late for treatment.

Northey, 29, is the reigning national criterium champion, winning his third title in five years last November.

His retirement drew reaction from many of his peers, who described him as a consummate professional who made the most of his ability.

Orica GreenEdge's Sam Bewley wrote on Twitter that Northey had made the right decision.

"I've been racing with mike since we were 13yrs old. I'll miss him on the grid, but some things are bigger than sport."

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