Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) is set to spend two months off the bike in order to recover from his crash suffered during the stage 13 time trial at the Tour de France 2019.
This will be in order to complete a two month rehabilitation programme, during which he will not be allowed to ride a bike.
Van Aert underwent surgery last night after his fall, which occurred in the run-in to the finish line as the Belgian was fighting for the provisional stage lead in the time trial against his countryman Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal).
He clipped a barrier in the final two kilometres, with organisers drawing the roadside banners in front of him as the young rider lay on the road, waiting for medical assistance as other competitors rode past.
The 24-year-old was forced to abandon the race and was taken to hopsital, his Jumbo-Visma team later confirming he had suffered a deep cut to his right leg.
Head of performance at the Dutch squad, Mathieu Heijboer, said that evening: “He was operated on by the surgeon. He stitched the capsule and skin and cleaned everything well. He has to stay in hospital for a few days.”
Jumbo-Visma team director, Nico Verhoeven, told Dutch news website Wielerflits, that despite advice from the surgeon, Van Aert expects that he will make a return quicker than the prescribed two months of recovery.
“The surgeon talked about a two month rehabilitation period in which he would not be allowed to cycle. But Wout saw it differently. A cyclist normally recovers faster,” Verhoeven said.
2019 has been Van Aert’s breakthrough season on the road, with podium places at Strade Bianche and the E3 BinckBank classic, before he took two stages and the points jersey at the Critérium du Dauphiné.
The young Belgian is also a celebrated cyclocross rider, having won the world championship for the past three years, but with the 2019 cyclocross season set to begin in October, it may be touch and go whether Van Aert recovers in time to re-find his form.
“We are still waiting to hear when he can start his cyclocross season. Although, we are not working on that now. Let us hope that he recovers 100 per cent,” said Verhoeven.