By Jonny Long
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.
Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races. I'm 6'0", 26 years old, have a strong hairline and have an adequate amount of savings for someone my age. I'm very single at the minute so if you know anyone, hit me up.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab, reporting about students evacuating their bowels on nightclub dancefloors and consecrating their love on lecture hall floors. I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
Chris Froome reveals the race he'd like to win before retirement
The seven-time Grand Tour winner speaks about how tech and data help younger riders get to the top earlier and how it helps recovery
By Tim Bonville-Ginn •
Coldplay perform using energy powered by 60 cyclists
The cyclists powered the music performances at the inaugural Earthshot Prize
By Ryan Dabbs •