Philippe Gilbert and BMC Racing teammate Loïc Vliegen were training in Belgium when a car containing two intoxicated men 'acted aggressively' toward to the duo, with the former world champion suffering a fractured middle finger on his left hand, according to the team. BMC's team release added that "It is understood that the two men were arrested by Belgian police at the time of the incident."
"I'm not feeling too bad at all," Gilbert said of the incident in a release from the team. "More than anything I am shocked that this happened as you don't expect anything like this to take place when you head out for a training ride."
BMC chief medical officer Max Testa said that Gilbert will need to take a few days off the bike following surgery to repair the finger.
"Philippe was taken to hospital and underwent surgery to have five pins inserted to secure three small fractures in his middle finger. He is otherwise fine but will need to take a day or two off the bike," Dr Testa said.
Gilbert has been recovering from a respiratory infection that saw him abandon Paris-Nice and miss Milan-San Remo. He has been building for the Ardennes later this month with the training-ride incident unlikely to affect his racing programme.
"After the weekend we should have a better idea of the impact this will have on his Ardennes Classics campaign, but at this stage he should be fine to race. Luckily Loïc was not injured in the altercation," added Testa.
BMC's Darwin Atapuma was attacked on a training ride last January while training at home in Colombia.