Philippe Gilbert of La Française des Jeux had a skin cancer removed from his thigh in an operation on Thursday in Liege, Belgium. The doctors removed a melanoma and ordered him to rest for 10 days, according to the AFP.
"It is a 'beauty spot' which had to be removed. The wound is serious, but not in a bad location. However, if I ride it will heal more slowly," Gilbert said.
He must now delay the start of his season. "I was to start with the [GP d'Ouverture La Marseillaise] on February 6," he said, "but now it will undoubtedly be with the Volta ao Algarve on February 21."