Cycling meets sports medicine, a civic symposium

14-15 September 2024
Hasselt / Hasselt University


Accreditation for medical doctors & physiotherapists

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Scientific Program

Day 1 - Saturday, 14 September 2024

9:00 – 9.10

Welcome by the organizing committee
Prof. dr. Bert Op ‘Eijnde, prof. Dr.Guido Claessen and Dr. Olivier Ghekiere (Hasselt University)
Rector prof. dr. Bernard Vanheusden (Hasselt University)  (Prof. Dr. Xavier Bigard (UCI)

Session 1A

The importance of exercise and lifestyle for health and wellbeing

Chair: Dr. Sofie Brouwers (OLV Aalst / Vrije Universiteit Brussel), Dr. Christophe Laruelle (Clinique Saint-Luc
Bouge) and Prof. Dr. Guido Claessen (UHasselt/Jessa Hospital/KULeuven),
JOINT SESSION with Belgian Working Group of Preventive Cardiology

09:10 – 09:30

What is more important – A healthy lifestyle or being fit?
Prof. dr. Bert Op ’t Eijnde (Hasselt University)

09:30 – 09:50

Health and wellbeing – Can wearables reduce the socio-economic burden of cardiovascular disease?
Prof. dr. Véronique Cornelissen (KU Leuven)

09:50 – 10:10

Can anti-obesity drugs replace the need for a healthy lifestyle?
Dr. Marjolein Snaterse-Zuidam (Amsterdam UMC)

10:10 - 10:30

Innovation in Preventive Medicine?
Mr. Jo Brouns (Flemish Minister of Innovation)

10:30 – 10:40


Session 1B

Ultrasound imaging ‘hands on’ workshop: sports injuries of the upper and lower limbs
Prof. Dr. Jan Gielen (Jessa Hospital)

10:40 – 11:00

Coffee break and visiting the booths

Session 2A Heart check-up before sports: whom, when and how?
Chair: Dr. Guy De Schutter (team doctor Alpecin-Fenix pro-team) and Dr. Kaatje Goetschalckx (KU Leuven)

11:00 – 11:18

Heart screening before sports: whom, when and how?
Dr. Tom Teulingkx (president vereniging voor Sport- en Keuringsartsen, SKA)

11:18 – 11:36

What are we looking for: causes of sudden cardiac death in athletes
Prof. Dr. Andre La Gerche (St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne)

11:36 – 11:54

How do we protect athletes from cardiac events – Is the answer in our DNA?
Prof. Dr. Tomas Robyns (KU Leuven)

11:54 – 12:12

Coronary plaques in athletes – Should they be worried?
Dr. Thijs Eijsvogels (Radboudumc, Nijmegen)

12:12 – 12:30

How to keep track of heart rhythm problems in athletes?
Prof. Dr. Aaron Baggish (Institut des sciences du sport, Université de Lausanne)

Session 2B

Ultrasound imaging ‘hands on’ workshop: sports injuries of the upper and lower limbs
Prof. Dr. Jan Gielen (Jessa Hospital)

12:30 – 13:40

Lunch break

Session 3A

Cleared to ride – How do I build up my training?
Chair: Mr. Sven Nys (team manager Baloise Trek Lions cycling team) and Dr. Sam Moustie (University of Antwerp)

13:40 – 14:00

From exercise test to training program
Mr. Erwin Koninckx (training coordinator Cycling Vlaanderen and Belgian Cycling)

14:00 – 14:20

After the exercise test – How to keep track of training progression in-the-field?
Dr. Reinout Van Schuylenbergh (KU Leuven)

14:20 – 14:40

Optimalization of training schedules and performance in female athletes
Dr. Sara Engels (CHU Brugmann, Brussels)

14:40 – 15:00

Cycling nutrition – everything you need to know
Ms. Karolien Rector (nutritionist Soudal Quick-Step)

15:00 – 15:20

Muscle MRI scanning – Identifying the talents of the future?
Prof. Dr. Wim Derave (Ghent University)

15:20 – 15:30


Session 3B

Ultrasound imaging ‘hands on’ workshop: sports injuries of the upper and lower limbs
Prof. Dr. Jan Gielen (Jessa Hospital)

Day 2 - Sunday, 15 September 2024

Session 4   

Imaging the sports heart
Chair: Prof. Dr. Jean-Nicolas Dacher (CHU Rouen) and Prof. Dr. Caroline Van Den Heyning (University of Antwerp)

09:00 – 09:20

A journey through the heart using cardiac ultrasound
Dr. Lieven Herbots (UHasselt/ Jessa hospital)

09:20 – 09:40

What is a cardiac MRI and what can we learn from it in athletes?
Prof. Dr. Jan Bogaert (KU Leuven)

09:40 – 10:00

Assessing the effects of extreme endurance exercise on the heart
Dr. Olivier Ghekiere (UHasselt/ Jessa hospital)

10:00 – 10:20

Limits of the athlete’s heart – Lessons from the Pro@Heart and Master@Heart study
Prof. Dr. Guido Claessen (UHasselt/ Jessa hospital/KU Leuven)

10:20 – 10:30


10:30 – 11:00

Coffee break and visiting the booths

Session 5

Psychosocial aspects – The athlete with heart disease
Chair: Dr. Jan Mathieu (team doctor Baloise Trek Lions pro cycling team) and Prof. Dr. Frank Timmermans (Ghent University)

11:00 – 11:20

The athlete’s perspective – psychological impact
Mr. Nathan Van Hooydonck

11:20 – 11:40

Shared decision making – What is the ethical responsibility of the physician and of the athlete?
Prof. Dr. Hein Heidbuchel (University of Antwerp)

11:40 – 12:00

Sports after inflammation of the heart muscle – can we avoid the mental repercussion of six months of sports restriction?
Dr. Harald Jorstad (Amsterdam UMC)

12:00 – 12:20

The athlete with atrial fibrillation – is sports restriction necessary and how to convince the athlete?
Prof. Dr. Marius Myrstad (Bareum Hospital, Gjettum)

12:20 – 12:30


12:30 – 13:00

Lunch break

Session 6

Rise and fall – injuries during cycling
Chair: Dr. Peter Plessers (Team doctor Lotto-Dstny pro cycling team) and Dr. Sophie Van Bakel (Team doctor AG Insurance-Soudal women’s cycling team)

13:00 – 13:20

How do I recognize a concussion – What are the consequences for cyclists?
Prof. Dr. Patrick Cras (University of Antwerp)

13:20 – 13:45

Typical acute injuries in cyclists – an update
Prof. Dr. Jan Gielen (Jessa Hospital, Hasselt) and Prof. Dr. Kristof Smeets (AZ Vesalius, Tongeren)

13:45 – 14:10

How to prevent cycling injuries: some possible strategies.
Prof. Dr. Xavier Bigard (UCI)

14:10 – 14:40

Round table
Mr. Jan Bakelants - Mr. Bert Celis - Prof. Dr. Xavier Bigard – Mr. Adam Hansen

Unique experience

  • Extra sports imaging ultrasound workshops & lunch sessions
  • Symposium center is located on the EC track

Speakers & (co)chairs

Dr. Aaron L. Baggish

Aaron L. Baggish M.D. FACC, FACSM
Brief Bio-summary

Dr. Aaron L. Baggish is the founder of the Cardiovascular Performance Program (CPP) at Harvard Medical School and now professor of medicine and sports science at the University of Lausanne. He has served as medical director for the Boston Marathon and cardiology/team physician consultant for numerous organizations including the IOC, FIFA, World Rowing, Trek-Lidl Cycling, NFL & MLS Player’s Association, UOSPC, US Soccer, and US Rowing. He has published more than 300 original peer reviewed research articles and serves on the editorial boards of multiple journals including Circulation and Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise.

Contact Information: +41 79 918 05 63 (SUI) / +1 617-943-4545 (USA)

Wim Derave

Wim Derave is a professor at the Department of Movement and Sports Sciences at Ghent University (Belgium), a global top ranked sport science institute ( Focus-Institution-Ranking/Sport-Science-Schools-and-Departments-2016.html). He teaches and leads a dynamic research team in exercise physiology, sport nutrition and muscle metabolism.

After obtaining his Master’s Degree in Physical Education and Movement Sciences at Ghent University, Wim made a PhD on the effects of exercise on muscle insulin action and glycogen metabolism, in collaboration with Prof. JL Pannier and Prof. Erik Richter from the prestigious Copenhagen Muscle Research Centre in Denmark. During his post-doc work in Prof. Peter Hespel’s lab at the K.U.Leuven (Belgium), his main research focus was the physiological role and the nutritional manipulation of the creatine system in skeletal muscle. Since 2005, Wim established his own laboratory in Ghent, which has taken a lead in the research regarding beta-alanine supplementation and the role of carnosine in skeletal muscle, both with respect to sport as to chronic metabolic diseases. An emerging research topic of his group relates to the development of an MRI-based - thus non-invasive - evaluation of muscle fiber type composition (the Muscle Talent Scan), and its applications towards talent identification, training advice and injury risk in athletes and team sport players. In 2017, Wim spent a 6-month sabbatical at the Gold Coast (Australia) as a visiting professor of Griffith University, to further develop the Muscle Talent Scan in elite Australian athletes.

Wim Derave has authored more than 150 peer-reviewed international scientific publications.

Dr. Thijs Eijsvogels

Thijs Eijsvogels, PhD is an Associate Professor of Exercise Physiology. His research training started at Radboud University (PhD degree, NL), followed by postdoctoral fellowships at Hartford Hospital (USA) and Liverpool John Moores University (UK). Dr. Eijsvogels is interested in the physiological and cardiovascular responses to acute and chronic exercise training. His research is focused on the benefits and potential deleterious effects of exercise across the whole physical activity spectrum: from cardiovascular disease patients demonstrating excessive sedentary behavior to veteran athletes performing long-term, high volume, high-intensity exercise training. He currently leads the Exercise Physiology research group at the Radboud University Medical Center (Nijmegen, NL), with the aim to optimize exercise prescription for cardiovascular health improvement. For this purpose, research techniques from the fields of physiology, cardiology and epidemiology are integrated in his multidisciplinary team.

Organizing/Scientific Committee

Prof. dr. Guido Claessen, UHasselt and Jessa Hospital, Hasselt

Dr. Olivier Ghekiere, UHasselt and Jessa Hospital, Hasselt

Prof. dr. Bert Op ‘t Eijnde, UHasselt, Hasselt


Open to medical (sports) doctors & general practitioners, physiotherapists, coaches, (recreational) athletes with a passion for cycling.

After registering you will receive an email with the payment details from our financial department.

Registration for ultrasound 'hands on' workshops: sports injuries of the upper and lower limbs on Saturday September 14 (Prof. Dr. Jan Gielen) is limited to 20 persons for each session.

Session 1:  upper limb (9:10-9:40)  
Session 2:  upper + lower limbs (11:00-12:30) 
Session 3:  lower limb (13:40-15:10)

On-line registration will be available until 5 September 2024.

Registration Fee

One-day symposium 80 € (catering included)
Two-day symposium 150 € (catering included)

Registration cancellation policy
Cancellations received until 7 September 2024 will be refunded.



Hasselt University (Universiteit Hasselt)
Martelarenlaan 42
3500 Hasselt


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