Belgian rider Bakelants recovering after spinal surgery

Cycling - The 104th Tour de France cycling race - The 22.5-km individual time trial Stage 20 from Marseille to Marseille, France - July 22, 2017 - AG2R-La Mondiale rider Jan Bakelants of Belgium starts. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

(Reuters) - Belgian rider Jan Bakelants is on the road to recovery following spinal surgery after suffering multiple fractures to his vertebrae in a horror fall at the Giro di Lombardia this month.

The 31-year-old, who rides for AG2R-La Mondiale and is a former Tour de France stage winner, was one of several riders who crashed into a ravine during the tricky descent from the Sormano climb in northern Italy.

Apart from the fractured vertebrae, Bakelants also broke seven ribs. After initial treatment in Italy, he was shifted to hospital in Belgium where he continues his recovery.

"Two days after surgery, it looks good, no extra intervention necessary. The road to recovery will be long, but I feel lucky I can start it," Bakelants said on Twitter.


(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Nick Mulvenney)

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