American cyclist Chloe Dygert has surgery following crash at road worlds

BOLOGNA, Italy -- American cyclist Chloe Dygert is expected to make a full recovery after undergoing surgery on her left leg after a crash at the road cycling world championships Thursday.

"I'll be back," Dygert said in a tweet Friday.

Dygert was the favorite to defend her title in the time trial and led by nearly half a minute at the intermediate checkpoint before losing control on a descent and crashing over a roadside barrier.

Dygert, 23, described her reaction and posted a graphic picture of her injuries, including a severe laceration to her left leg, on Twitter.

"I remember thinking what if I can get my bike can I still win?" Dygert wrote in her post. "The first thing I remember was asking @JimMiller-time [USA Cycling chief of sports performance Jim Miller] if I was done.. Then I looked down and saw my leg.

"Thank you for all the well wishes. I'll be back."

Dygert was treated roadside by medical staff before being taken by ambulance to a hospital in Bologna, where she had surgery.

Her father, David, told the Indy Star that Dygert had a "severed or severely damaged" quadriceps muscle. He told the paper that the initial X-rays showed there were no broken bones, but his daughter's quadriceps was sliced "from one side to the other."

"We are relieved that this crash was not worse than what it could have been," Miller said. "While this crash is distressing, Chloe is young and a fighter. With Chloe's determination, we know she will be back riding before we know it. For now, we want her to focus on healing."

USA Cycling said in a statement that Dygert is expected to make a full recovery and her coach is confident she will return in even better form.

"Chloe is a gifted athlete. She's had accidents in the past and returned stronger than ever," Kristin Armstrong said. "I have no doubt that this will be the case again."

Dutch rider Anna van der Breggen, who was runner-up to Dygert last year, won the time trial.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.