Van Riel vows to ‘create a stronger me than ever’ after ankle injury

Belgian star Marten Van Riel faces a spell without running after he confirmed the cause of ankle pain which had been troubling him.

He took a crashing fall on the run within sight of the finish at WTCS Leeds in June but still managed to crawl over the line in 12th place.

Initially it appeared a dislocated shoulder was the more serious issue but he told us soon after: “My shoulder is actually fine, just very sore. I am a bit worried about my ankle.”

MRI shows ankle issue

And the ankle has proved a problem ever since as he confirmed this week on Instagram: “Those who saw my long rides on Strava might have been suspecting something!

“Unfortunately my fall in Leeds left a bigger mark than expected/hoped. After 7 weeks of running with pain in my ankle, last week I started developing sharper pain. An MRI revealed bone oedema in my talus (ankle bone). A couple of weeks without running now and then we will have to evaluate how it progresses 😥.”

Marten Van Riel wins IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai 2022
Marten Van Riel wins IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai 2022 (Photo Credit: James Mitchell / IRONMAN)

The year started in fine style for Van Riel when he claimed an impressive victory at IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai, beating Kristian Blummenfelt and Daniel Bækkegård among others as he made it two wins out of two at that distance.

But he then endured a frustrating time at the Arena Games ahead of Leeds, after which he was still able to manage a top 10 at WTCS Montreal.

He said on Instagram: “The season was already not going how I wanted at all and this just adds to that disappointment. 

“The only thing I can do now is use this period to create a stronger me than ever. @woutvanaert bike mode has already been activated (24 hours last week),” he added, referencing Belgian cycling superstar Wout van Aert.

Jonathan Turner
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Jonathan is Editorial Director for TRI247 and RUN247. He was previously Head of Digital / Comms for pro cycling's Team Sky and now spends as much time as he can running with his local club. Swimming is not yet on the radar.