Kim Kirchen comes out of coma

Luxembourger to have more tests to find problem

Luxembourg's Kim Kirchen, who has been in hospital in Zurich since Friday, has emerged from a coma, his team Katusha announced on Tuesday.

In a statement on its website, the Russian team said that the signs were encouraging and that Kirchen, 31, had immediately recognised his wife and his father.

"He asked what had happened because he doesn't remember anything," said the statement.

"For the moment, he hasn't shown any cardiac or lung problems. He will have more tests to try and find out what caused the problem."

Kirchen had been competing in the Tour of Switzerland when he complained of a heart problem, and was hospitalised overnight Friday.

The Luxemburger, who finished seventh overall in the Tour de France in 2007 and 2008, was then placed in an artificial coma so doctors could better evaluate his condition.

Kirchen suffered respiratory problems at the end of March and had been out of action for a month.

He is primarily known as a one-day race specialist and has notably won the Fleche Wallonne in 2008. He is also a two-time national champion in both road and time trialling.

© AFP 2010

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