“It was my first training ride after a few weeks off,” said the 31-year-old BMC rider.
“I went into a corner, maybe a bit too fast and there was water on the ground and I didn’t want to go straight into that, so I put my foot down, and this is what caused the fracture.”
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Despite his injury, Van Avermaet is remaining positive about his recovery, and seeing the bright side with regards to the timing of the crash.
“I feel fine. Of course it’s better to not have an injury like this but I cannot change it, and it’s better now than in January.
“I now have some extra weeks to recover before getting back on the bike in about four weeks, and then I’ll still have a big block of training before the season starts, so it should be fine.”
However, he recovered his season in the second half of the year, taking a stage win and wearing the yellow jersey at the Tour de France, and beating the climbers to take the gold medal in the Rio Olympic road race.