Cycling: Kiwi Aaron Gate suffers more surgery setbacks after Tokyo Olympics heartbreak

Kiwi cyclist Aaron Gate has had to undergo collarbone surgery for the third time in four months.

The 31-year-old suffered the injury when crashing at the Tokyo Olympics in August and while he thought he'd recovered, he's suffered several setbacks since.

Among them are infections of the area and having the inserted metal plate taken out. Gate's getting used to being in hospitals, his latest one in Madrid.

"It's been interesting," Gate tells Newshub.

After crashing at Tokyo, he had to undergo surgery on his broken collarbone... then he had to have it done again.

And earlier this month, after already claiming silver in the omnium at the track cycling world championships in October, he realised something still wasn't right.

"Our cycling shorts have straps that go right over the operating site and I thought it was just friction causing a bit of irritation to the skin, from where the stitches had been or whatever.

"But it turns out it was actually granulated tissue, so that became like a little alien growth sitting on my shoulder."

The news wasn't good.

"I have to admit, my heart sank a bit when they said, 'oh, we might have to go in and take the plate out, because it will be infected'.

"I was like 'oh, you're joking me'."

The infection was around the bone, forcing the surgeon to remove the titanium plate.

"You're meant to leave them in for a year, but it'd only been four months," he adds. "He was happy the clavicle wasn't going to snap on me, but I do have to be cautious in the coming months to give it time to heal."

Gate believes there's a silver lining.

"I don't really want to have the feet up and my holiday to be in a room by myself, but it's the right time of year to get on top of everything and start the rebuild for next year fresh."

He'll have plenty of time for that.