Van Aert has surgery and could miss Giro d'Italia


Belgian cyclist Wout van Aert has undergone surgery after suffering multiple fractures in a crash which has put his Giro d'Italia entry in doubt, his team said.

Van Aert crashed at high speed on Wednesday during the Dwars door Vlaanderen race. He suffered a broken sternum, broken collarbone and broken ribs.

The accident ruled him out of Sunday's Tour of Flanders classic, one of his main goals this season, and he will remain sidelined for weeks.

"It's unclear when Wout will be able to get back on his bike," the Visma-Lease a Bike team said on Thursday.. "He will, therefore, miss the spring classics. His participation in the Giro d'Italia in May is still uncertain."

Van Aert is widely considered one of the world's best and most versatile riders.

The three-time cyclocross world champion is also the winner of 10 stages and the points classification at the Tour de France.

With the Giro in doubt, Van Aert might decide to focus instead on the Tour de France before the Paris Olympics. He won silver in the road race at the Tokyo Olympics.

Van Aert, 29, had been planning to skip the Tour de France, which ends just before the Games, to be fresher for the Games.