Van Avermaet fractures ankle in mountain bike crash

Belgian to have surgery and take time off

Greg Van Avermaet will undergo surgery on Tuesday following a mountain bike crash over the weekend. The Olympic Champion suffered a non-displaced, distal left fibula fracture while training and doctors have taken the decision to operate on the injury in order to speed up the recovery process.

Dr Tim Leenders will operate on Van Avermaet in Antwerp, Belgium. Van Avermaet’s BMC squad say that the Belgian should be able to train in three to four weeks and team doctor Max Testa says that the injury should not interrupt his 2017 plans.

"Injuries are unfortunately part of a cyclist's career, something that Greg understands well having already bounced back successfully from injury this year. 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," Dr Testa explained in a BMC press release.

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

Van Avermaet has enjoyed his most successful season to date with the gold medal in the road race at the Olympic Games, winning Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, overall victory at Tirreno-Adriatico, a stage of the Tour de France and a stint in yellow, a win at the GP Montreal and a stage of the Eneco Tour. The only blot on his copy book was a crash at the Tour of Flanders, which left him with a broken collarbone and he needed surgery.

Van Avermaet had been due to fire the starting pistol for the Gent Six Day, which starts on Tuesday, however this is unlikely to happen now.

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