Peter Velits out until mid-summer, surgery necessary

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Former Tour of Oman champion and double Vuelta a España stage winner Peter Velits is facing a long period away from competition after it was determined that he needs surgery to correct an issue which cropped up in recent months.

The 30 year old Slovakian rider, who has been with the BMC Racing Team since the start of last season, needs undergo an operation on his left leg in order to treat what the team has termed an overuse injury.

According to the team’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Max Testa, the issue developed over the past few months.

“His leg has definitely been bothering him the past few weeks,” Dr. Testa said. “So after the medical staff consulted with an external specialist, we decided it was best for him to have surgery.”

The team has not specified the precise nature of the injury. Velits said that it first flared up at the team training camp in December, although he explained at first his performance was not affected.

However this changed over time. “As the season started, the symptoms got worse so we decided to undergo surgery,” he said.

“The team has been very supportive in every aspect, which I am very thankful for. I am looking forward to get back to racing with the team again.”

Testa has said that his surgery is set to happen in the next week or two. He added that if things go to plan, Velits will return to racing mid-summer.

Velits was part of the BMC Racing Team’s gold-medal winning squad in the world time trial championships last September.

In addition to his past Tour of Oman and Vuelta a España performances, he is also the 2007 world under 23 road race champion, a multiple national time trial champion and the runner-up in the 2010 Vuelta a España.