Greg Van Avermaet undergoes surgery after fracturing ankle mountain biking

The Olympic road race champion will have to wait three to four weeks before returning to training

(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Olympic road race champion Greg Van Avermaet will undergo surgery on Monday after fracturing his ankle while mountain biking at the weekend.

The Belgian sustained a small, non-displaced, distal left fibula fracture according to a statement from his BMC team, who agreed with doctors to allow him to undergo surgery in Antwerp to help speed up his recovery.

The injury is expected to keep Van Avermaet from training for around three to four weeks, but the team are confident it won't affect his 2017 season.

"Injuries are unfortunately part of a cyclist's career, something that Greg understands well having already bounced back successfully from injury this year," said BMC's chief medical officer Dr Max Testa.

"Following surgery Greg's training program will be readjusted according to his progress over the next two to three weeks, and in agreement with Dr. Leenders,"

"I am confident that this injury will not interfere with Greg's objectives for the 2017 season."

Van Avermaet memorably crashed out of the Tour of Flanders this year with a number of his BMC teammates, and subsequently went under the knife to fix a broken collarbone.

That injury kept him from competing in the remainder of the Classics, including Paris-Roubaix, but he was able to make a successful return in time to take a stage win at the Tour de France and the maillot jaune, before heading to Rio where he beat the climbers on a hilly Olympic road race course to claim the gold medal.

An update on Van Avermaet's progress is expected on Tuesday morning.

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Richard Windsor

Follow on Twitter: @richwindy

Richard is digital editor of Cycling Weekly. Joining the team in 2013, Richard became editor of the website in 2014 and coordinates site content and strategy, leading the news team in coverage of the world's biggest races and working with the tech editor to deliver comprehensive buying guides, reviews, and the latest product news.

An occasional racer, Richard spends most of his time preparing for long-distance touring rides these days, or getting out to the Surrey Hills on the weekend on his Specialized Tarmac SL6 (with an obligatory pub stop of course).