BMC rider to undergo surgery to correct heart defect

Loic Vliegen will undergo surgery in Brussels on Thursday to correct a congenital heart defect

Loic Vliegen in the 2014 London-Surrey Classic (Watson)
(Image credit: Watson)

BMC hope to have Belgian racer Loïc Vliegen back in the team for the start of the 2016 season after it was announced that he is to undergo surgery for a congenital heart defect.

The 21-year-old joined BMC as a trainee at the back end of the 2014 season and raced 44 days this season.

The defect was diagnosed by his long-time doctor, Michel Cerfontaine, while in Liege, Belgium, with surgery scheduled at Université catholique de Louvain Woluwe in Brussels on Thursday.

BMC Teammachine review

Vliegen put in a number of impressive results in 2015, including fifth at the U23 Liege-Bastogne-Liege and 11th at the RideLondon-Surrey Classic.

In stage racing, the Belgian finished second overall at the Tour of Brittany and eighth at the Tour de Wallonie. He is under contract with the American team for the next two seasons.

Vliegen said, "I am in good hands and am very grateful to Dr. Cerfontaine and the staff of Liège Citadelle."