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.
>> Subscribe to Cycling Weekly this Autumn and save 35%. Enjoy the luxury of home delivery and never miss an issue <<
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.