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After insufficient surgery corrected in Belgium, Wout Van Aert heads home

Jumbo-Visma rider faces long rehab for injury suffered in Tour de France

Two weeks after a crash in the Tour de France time trial that left him with a serious leg injury, Jumbo-Visma’s Wout Van Aert headed home on Wednesday. He would have been released from hospital sooner, but the initial surgery was insufficient.

Four days after winning his first Tour de France stage, the Belgian chrono champion was on his way to a good time when he crashed on a right hand bend, hitting the barriers and opening a huge gash in his upper right thigh.

The damage to the muscles and tendons were mended in Pau, France, where the crash took place, and he headed home to Herentals, Belgium after four days. It was in Herentals that it was discovered that the Pau surgery wasn’t the ideal measure to take for the type of injury. Van Aert told Belgian sportscaster Sporza that surgeon Toon Claes noticed that he hadn’t the proper procedure: “Due to the treatment that left a lot to be desired in France, it could have been worse if we had not been quick. I am glad that I fell into the hands of Toon Claes and that he quickly intervened at the right time.”

On the post-Tour crit circuit, Egan Bernal dropped in to visit in Herentals.

Van Aert now faces a long, deliberate rehabilitation to first walk and then cycle. Right now, it looks like his cyclocross season might be a complete write off. The first World Cup event is Jingle Cross in Iowa City, U.S.A. on September 14.