Retired Belgian cyclocross racer Ben Berden is set to undergo brain surgery on Tuesday morning in Belgium.

Berden raced the latter half of his career in the States for Stoemper, Raleigh Clement and WCup and retired after last season.

Ben Berden on his way to fourth place. 2016 Cyclocross Toko © Kei Tsuji

Ben Berden on his way to fourth place in one of his last cyclocross races of his career. 2016 Cyclocross Tokyo © Kei Tsuji

The surgery is to resolve a brain aneurysm Berden has suspected he’s had for years. The aneurysm, believed to be genetic, caused what Berden described to Cyclocross Magazine as severe “head pain” during “intensive training or racing.”

Berden knows he’s fortunate that he ended his racing career when he did and that the balloon-like imperfection in his artery did not cause a brain bleed while racing or training. “I was lucky it never burst.” said Berden.

To understand what was causing his bad headaches, Berden said doctors subjected him to CT and MRI scans, and even had to place “a long tube up my vein…to my head” (an angiogram).

The surgery, scheduled for 8 a.m. in Belgium on Tuesday, will place a metal clip on the aneurysm to prevent blood from entering the area and to avoid any risk of it expanding or bursting.

Although he expects to make a full recovery, Berden says his days of riding hard are over, and two-wheel adventures are limited to “only a town bike” as he won’t be able to do “intensive things anymore.”

Berden says friends can drop him a note on Facebook, while readers can drop a comment below and we’ll make sure he sees them.

Heal fast and ride slow Ben!